Eastern Times, February 14, 2021 ,New Delhi: Trinamool Congress suffered a fresh blow before the Bengal elections as senior party MP Dinesh Trivedi resigned his Rajya Sabha seat on Friday, announcing it on the floor of the House. Shortly afterwards, he handed in his resignation to Rajya Sabha chairman and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu.
While he has not made it official yet, Trivedi, it is learnt, is on his way to switch sides to BJP, following the footsteps of some of his party colleagues who have already switched to the saffron camp. On the speculation he told reporters: “I am trying to join myself first,” without ruling out the proposition.
One of TMC’s familiar faces in Delhi, Trivedi’s exit added to a series of dramatic exits from Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s party ahead of the Bengal election due by May. He complained that TMC was being run by “somebody who doesn’t know politics” and no one had time to speak to him, implying that the party was being run by Prashant Kishor, who has been enlisted by Banerjee to plan her election campaign two years ago.
“When the party goes into hands of a corporate professional, he is running the party, no one has time to listen. Somebody does not now the ABC of politics, he is becoming my neta (leader). So what can people do in such a situation? The daily fights, the daily abuse of each other – you can’t run a country like this,” the 70-year-old told reporters, claiming he felt relieved.
A former railway minister in the UPA-2 regime when TMC was part of the national alliance, Trivedi was recently made a Rajya Sabha member from TMC, after he lost his Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat to BJP in 2019.
While TMC leaders called it “being ungrateful” on Trivedi’s part, a jubilant BJP in Kolkata quickly extended its welcome to him to join the saffron camp.
An angry TMC lashed back at Trivedi, who had been maintaining distance with the party for the last two months, saying he has betrayed the party leadership and the trust of the people. TMC Rajya Sabha deputy leader Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said, “he is ungrateful and has betrayed the trust of the masses.”
“For the last so many years he (Trivedi) did not say anything. Now suddenly just months before the state assembly poll he has complains. This shows his true colours,” Roy said. Echoing the same sentiment party’s Lok Sabha MP Sougata Roy said, “people like Trivedi enjoy power during their tenure and leave at the time of elections.
If he had grievances, he could have aired it in the party… This is unfortunate. I am saddened. It is not good that he has resigned. I knew he was dissatisfied but I did not know he would quit.”
While announcing his resignation, Trivedi said he feels suffocated in the House as he is unable to do anything for the violence going on in his state, West Bengal.
“If you sit here quietly and cannot do anything, then it is better that you resign from here and go to the land of Bengal and be with people,” he said.
“I am grateful to my party that it has sent me here, but now I feel a little suffocated. We are unable to do anything and there is atrocity (going on). My voice of conscience is saying what Swami Vivekananda used to say — arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached,” Trivedi said, announcing his resignation.
Trivedi is learnt to have said in close circles that he would be working to make Bengal a part of the national mainstream, as the state has fallen out of it, hinting at the fact that he would be part of the ruling party at the Centre.
Stunned at the developments, TMC sources said, he had tweeted praise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech in Parliament on Thursday, at a time his party leader Banerjee, has been going hammer and tongs against BJP and its leadership. His Twitter account briefly vanished after his resignation.