West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress’ top brass held a high-level meeting with disgruntled party heavyweight Suvendu Adhikari on Tuesday night in a bid to iron out differences within the incumbent formation.
The closed-door meeting was discreetly held amongst Adhikari, Trinamool’s second-in-command Abhishek Banerjee, party’s leader in the Lok Sabha Sudip Bandopadhyay, veteran MP Sougata Roy and strategist Prashant Kishor at a building in north Kolkata.
“The meeting was extremely well. Suvendu said he is very much in the party. He is not going anywhere,” said Roy who was assigned by Mamata Banerjee to continue talks with the ex-transport minister.
Roy said that he invited Abhishek Banerjee and Adhikari to sit across for talks. He said that the outcome of the meeting was “really good” and it was conveyed to the party supremo immediately after the two-hour long session.
“I had been constantly saying all along that he would not leave the party. He is with us,” said Roy.
State Irrigation and Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikari had tendered his resignation as minister from the Mamata Banerjee-led state cabinet on Friday morning. He has also left the chairperson’s post of the Hooghly River Bridge Commissioner’s (HRBC) last week.
According to sources, Adhikari was unhappy with organisational decisions taken by Abhishek Banerjee and Kishor.
Adhikari and Banerjee were even seen taking pot-shots indirectly at each other without taking names at recent public meetings.
Sisir Adhikari, father of disgruntled legislator from Nandigram in East Midnapore, welcomed what emerged at the meeting. He said: “This is a good development for the party.”
Speculations were rife if Suvendu would join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the crucial state Assembly polls scheduled in 2021.
The state BJP leaders had said that they would welcome Adhikari if he wants to join the saffron brigade in Bengal.
Lawyer-turned Trinamool MP Kalyan Bandopadhyay, who had attacked Adhikari last week at a public meeting, said: “I am really happy today as he is with us. This is not the time to post-mortem what I said in the past. I genuinely welcome the move. If necessary I will personally speak to Suvendu. We all will unitedly fight out the BJP in Bengal.”
BJP state president Dilip Ghosh, however, said that it is an internal matter of the Trinamool Congress.
“Many Trinamool leaders have already joined the BJP in the state and many more would come in the time to come,” he added.