Trinamool Congress MP Dinesh Trivedi on Friday resigned from his Rajya Sabha seat just a couple of months before the assembly polls in West Bengal, saying he is feeling suffocated in the party which is "no longer in hands of" its supremo Mamata Banejee.
His resignation came two days after he had endorsed Prime Minister Modi's speech in Lok Sabha in which he called for a key role of the private sector.
Trivedi, who represented West Bengal in Rajya Sabha for the third time and was a former railway minister, announced his resignation in the house during a debate on the Union Budget, saying he cannot speak about the violence in his state.
He handed over his resignation to Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and it has been accepted. He explained to Naidu that he resigned of his own will and there is no pressure on him to do so.
Minutes after his resignation, BJP general secretary and party's West Bengal in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya said Trivedi is welcome in the party.
Assembly elections in West Bengal are due in April-May.
Announcing his resignation, Trivedi said, "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. What I mean to say is the way violence is taking place in our state. Sitting here, I am feeling perplexed as to what should I do."
The Trinamool Congress MP said he is unable to bear various incidents that are happening in West Bengal.
"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 not stop till the goal is reached," Trivedi said, while announcing his resignation from the House.
Talking to reporters after submitting his resignation, Trivedi said,"TMC is no longer in Mamata Banerjee's hands. It has been taken over by a corporate professional, who doesn't understand politics. And there is no forum within party to air our views."
Trivedi further said he was daily asked to abuse the prime minister and that is not his value system.
Trivedi had endorsed Modi's Lok Sabha speech on Twitter, saying "I am personally in agreement with this. The way forward is to let our young talented mind innovate, create and distribute wealth. Pay Govt levies, create jobs. For that, our Govt officers (babus) too, need to encourage the youth."
He was trolled for his tweet with many apprehending that he may switch from the party.
TMC Rajya Sabha deputy leader Sukhendu Sekhar Ray said Trivedi is "ungrateful" and has betrayed the trust of the masses.
"For the last so many years he (Trivedi) did not say anything. Now all of a sudden just months before the state assembly poll he has complaints. This shows his true colours," Ray said.
Echoing him, party colleague and Lok Sabha member 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 them in the party."
An elated BJP said "The beginning of the end of the TMC has already begun".
Claiming that the party will disintegrate soon, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said "It is only a matter of time before TMC disintegrates. If Dinesh Trivedi wants to join us, we will welcome him."
He was elected to Rajya Sabha for the third time in July 2020 and had over five years left for himself. Trivedi was elected as a member of the upper house for the first term in April 1990 and second term in May 2002.
Speculation is rife that Trivedi, who basically hails from Gujarat, is likely to join the BJP and may be given a Rajya Sabha seat.
Interestingly, two seats in the upper house from Gujarat are also lying vacant which are going to polls next month.