Trinamool Congress leader Dinesh Trivedi announced his resignation in parliament today, adding to a series of dramatic exits from the party ahead of the Bengal election due by May. He said he felt helpless about the political violence in his state.
“The kind of violence that is happening in Bengal, it is a threat to democracy. I feel very strange sitting here. I think of what I should do. I think of Rabindranath Tagore. Obey party discipline? Of course, but I feel stifled. My soul is saying I sit here and say nothing, what is the point? I resign,” Mr Trivedi said in the Rajya Sabha.
“We are here only for our motherland. I am grateful to my party for sending me here,” he said, adding that he wanted to go back and work for his state.
His announcement stunned his party but the signs were visible, said sources close to him. Yesterday, he had tweeted praise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech in parliament, at a time his party boss, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, has been going hammer and tongs against the BJP and its leadership.
“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,” 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 MP, Sukhendu Roy, 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.”