One of the Trinamool Congress’s most visible faces, Dinesh Trivedi, announced his resignation in parliament today, adding to a series of dramatic exits from Mamata Banerjee’s party before the Bengal election due by May.
He said the Trinamool was being travel by “somebody who doesn’t know politics” and nobody had time to talk to him.
Without taking names, Dinesh Trivedi seemed to attack poll strategist Prashant Kishor, who was enlisted by Mamata Banerjee to plan her election campaign 2 years ago.
“When the party goes into hands of a company professional, he’s running the party, nobody has time to concentrate . Somebody doesn’t now the ABC of politics, he’s becoming my neta (leader). So what can people neutralize such a situation? The daily fights, the daily abuse of every other – you cannot run a rustic like this,” the 70-year-old told reporters, claiming he felt relieved.
On speculation that he’s joining the BJP, Mr Trivedi replied: “I am trying to hitch myself first”. Notably, he didn’t rule it out.
Earlier within the Rajya Sabha, Mr Trivedi sprung his surprise while bemoaning the state of affairs in Bengal.
“The quite violence that’s happening in Bengal, it’s a threat to democracy. I feel very strange sitting here. i feel of what I should do. i feel of Rabindranath Tagore. Obey party discipline? in fact , but I feel stifled. My soul is saying I sit here and say nothing, what’s the point? I resign,” he said.
“We are here just for our motherland. i’m grateful to my party for sending me here,” he added. Shortly afterwards, he handed in his resignation to Rajya Sabha chairman and vice chairman Venkaiah Naidu.
His party is stunned but the signs were visible, said sources on the brink of him. Yesterday, he had tweeted praise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech in parliament, at a time his political boss , Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, has been going hammer and tongs against the BJP and its leadership.
His Twitter account briefly vanished after his resignation.
“This is unfortunate. i’m saddened. it’s not good that he has resigned. I knew he was dissatisfied but I didn’t know he would quit,” said senior Trinamool Congress leader Saugata Roy.
Mr Trivedi was nominated to the Rajya Sabha last year by his party; he was a Lok Sabha MP from Barrackpore but had lost the 2019 parliamentary election and had reportedly felt sidelined in the party since. He was defeated by Arjun Singh, a former Trinamool leader who had joined the BJP.
Another Trinamool MP, Sukhendu Roy, questioned why he was allowed to speak out of turn in the Rajya Sabha and said on his resignation: “‘Trinamool’ means grassroots. This will give us an opportunity to send a grassroots worker of ours soon to the Rajya Sabha.”
Moments after the news emerged, senior BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya told reporters: “Dinesh Trivedi is quite welcome to hitch BJP. He has taken a year to quit the Trinamool”.
The BJP leader said he had met Mr Trivedi a year ago and he had told him “things weren’t good”.
The trickle became a flood when in December, Mamata Banerjee lost her top aide Suvendu Adhikari, who first quit as minister after an extended period of uncertainty, then immediately joined the BJP. Over 40 more leaders and workers followed him out of the Trinamool. Many of the defectors blamed Prashant Kishor, either openly or tacitly.
Mamata Banerjee recently called those that left “traitors” who were bad apples. “A few naughty cows left the party to hitch BJP like Mir Jafar (who joined British during the Battle of Plassey). the earlier they leave the party, the higher ,” she said.
The Trinamool has lost several leaders to the BJP within the intense battle for Bengal.