Dates for West Bengal assembly elections could be announced anytime soon and just before the crucial polls, Mamata Banerjee suffered yet another blow. In a dramatic move, Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Dinesh Trivedi announced his resignation from the House on Friday.
Speaking in Rajya Sabha, Trivedi, a former Union minister, said he was feeling 'suffocated' and 'helpless' in Trinamool Congress. Pointing towards the non-stop political violence in Bengal, Trivedi said it was sad that he wasn't able do anything about the situation.
"I am resigning from the party as there is violence in my state. I am grateful to my party that it sent me here. I am feeling suffocated as we are not able to do anything about the violence in the state," Trivedi said.
"I will continue to serve the people of Bengal, but my soul tells me that if you can't do anything sitting here, then resign," he added.
Soon after Trivedi's resignation announcement, the Trinamool stopped short of describing him as a 'spent force'. TMC MP Saugata Roy said Trivedi was never a 'grassroot' leader. Roy also went on to point fingers at Trivedi's loss in the last general elections.
"We didn't know he'd resign. However, it isn't a shock. He wasn't a grassroots leader, had lost Lok Sabha elections. Mamata Banerjee sent him to Rajya Sabha. 'Trinamool' means grassroots. It'll give chance to other grassroots workers to emerge," Saugata Roy said.
Why Dinesh Trivedi's resignation will hurt Mamata
Dinesh Trivedi is yet to reveal his future course of action but speculation is rife that he may join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and return to Rajya Sabha from Gujarat. BJP's Bengal in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya has given enough hints of Trivedi joining the saffron brigade.
Saugata Roy may have labeled Trivedi's resignation as insignificant but Trinamool and Mamata are well aware that he played a key role in backing the Trinamool Congress chief when she decided to walk out of the Congress to establish her own party.
Trivedi, who was once seen as Mamata's close confidante, gradually lost prominence amid the growth of local leadership. Trinamool's most famous face in Delhi, Trivedi lost his place to Derek O'Brien, who was named as TMC's floor leader in Rajya Sabha despite being much younger to him.
It was Dinesh Trivedi who once worked as a bridge between Mamata Banerjee in Bengal and the Congress-led UPA and BJP-led NDA in New Delhi. Now that he has quit, it will be interesting to see whether Dinesh Trivedi campaigns against Mamata brigade in the upcoming Bengal assembly elections.