Tears, anger and indifference. These three elements added spice to the political drama that unfolded in Kolkata through the day on Friday, starting with the Bengal Forest Minister Rajib Banerjee resigning from his post and bursting into tears after submitting his resignation letter.
After dropping it at the chief minister’s home office, he went to Raj Bhavan to give the letter to the governor. Stepping out of the gates, he stood on the road and addressed the media and then about 7 minutes into it, burst into tears.
“I will always work for the people and I want to thank the party leader for giving me the opportunity to do so,” he said, sobbed and hastily left.
Fellow MLA and daughter of the legendary cricket administrator Jagmohan Dalmiya lamented his exit, saying termites in the Trinamool got the better of a good human being.
Within an hour of her outburst, Trinamool issued marching orders to this first time MLA from the Bally constituency in Howrah district. “Remember I had told you about termites in the party? They are working overtime now,” she said.
“Anti-party comments, anti-party activities,” Trinamool spokesman Kunal Ghosh said. “This is all happening by design to discredit the party that gave Baishali and Rajib so much”.
Barring that, Trinamool feigned indifference to the two quick exits from the party in one day. “The Trinamool is like an ocean. A couple of mugs of water taken out of it make no difference, a couple of leaves falling off a giant tree don’t matter. There will be new leaves,” said party leader and minister Partha Chatterjee.
Rajib Banerjee is the third minister to resign his post in the last six weeks. The first to go was Suvendu Adhikari and he has joined BJP. The second was Laxmi Ratan Shukla, cricketer turned minister of state for sports. He has not gone anywhere yet, nor has he resigned as MLA or from the party. The third, Rajib Banerjee, did not spell out his plans today.
BJP has issued a welcome mat for Mr Banerjee. “He is like my younger brother and I am telling him BJP’s doors are open,” said Arjun Singh, also formerly Trinamool, now BJP MP.
The welcome mat was also laid for Baishali and even Laxmi Ratan Shukla.
The two of them and Rajib Banerjee are MLAs from Howrah district. On January 31, BJP leader Amit Shah is scheduled to hold a rally in Howrah where a big joining has been promised.
All eyes on who all will be there from Trinamool to take up the saffron flag.