Kolkata: Senior Trinamool Congress leader Suvendu Adhikari, who has been at odds with the party's leadership, tendered his resignation as the state's transport minister on Friday amid speculations over his next political move.
Adhikari, the face of the Nandigram movement that catapulted Mamata Bannerjee to power in 2011, sent his resignation letter to the chief minister by fax, which he then forwarded to Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar by e-mail.
"I do hereby tender my resignation from my office as Minister. Steps may be taken for its immediate acceptance. I am simultaneously by e-mail this to His Excellency-Governor of West Bengal, for doing the needful at his end," Adhikari said in the resignation letter.
"I thank you for giving me an opportunity to serve the people of the state, which I did all through with a commitment, dedication and sincerity," he added.
Adhikari also resigned as the chairman of the Haldia Development Authority, the agency that oversees development works in the industrial town of Haldia and its adjoining areas in the East Midnapore district.
On Wednesday, he had resigned as the chairman of the Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners (HRBC), which is the custodian of several bridges and flyovers of Kolkata, including the iconic Second Hooghly Bridge.
Adhikari also shunned his Z-category security cover provided by the state government, sources said.
"Today at 1:05 pm a resignation letter of Mr. Suvendu Adhikari from office as minister addressed to Hon'ble Chief Minister has been forwarded to me. The issue will be addressed from constitutional perspective," the governor tweeted.
The BJP said that the resignation was a reflection of the anger of TMC leaders against the party's top brass.
BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, however, declined to comment on speculation that Adhikari was joining his party.
State BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said that Adhikari's resignation indicated the "end of Trinamool".
"The exit of Suvendu from Trinamool was only a matter of time. There are several leaders of the ruling party who are disgruntled with its way of functioning. We have kept our doors open," he told reporters.
Sources close to Adhikari, who has not attended state cabinet meetings over the last few months, said that he was unhappy with the organisational rejig, effected a few months ago.
MPs Sougata Roy and Sudip Bandopadhyay were deputed to talk to him and address the grievances, even as he continued to tour the state and lead rallies organised by his supporters but without the TMC's banner, an unusual for the party.
Reacting to the development, Roy said he was hopeful that Adhikari will continue to remain in the party as he has not given up its membership or resigned as an MLA.
Apart from his home district of East Midnapore where his family members hold public offices, Adhikari has influence over at least 35-40 assembly segments that are in West Midnapore, Bankura, Purulia and Jhargram, and parts of Birbhum -- the tribal-dominated Junglemahal region.
Elections to the 294-member West Bengal aAsembly are likely in April-May next year.