Why West Bengal speaker rejected Suvendu Adhikari’s resignation

Why West Bengal speaker rejected Suvendu Adhikari’s resignation

NEW DELHI: West Bengal speaker Biman Banerjee on Friday rejected rebel Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Suvendu Adhikari’s resignation as an MLA. The move seems to be aimed at achieving two goals – and both opposite ones.
Adhikari resigned as an MLA from Nandigram constituency on December 16. Speculations are rife that he may join the BJP in the presence of Union home minister Amit Shah who will visit East Midnapore in the state on Saturday.
The West Bengal speaker rejected Adhikari’s resignation on the ground that it did not conform to the provisions of the Constitution and the rules of the House. The speaker would rather have wanted the rebel leader to hand over the resignation letter in person.
The West Bengal speaker’s first intention seems to be to delay the resignation of Adhikari. The additional time may be utilised by TMC supremo and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee to placate Adhikari.
Banerjee has been trying to mollify Adhikari for a long time now. She has sent several emissaries in the past, including political strategist Prashant Kishor to pacify the disgruntled leader. However, she has not met with any success so far.
She may make one last ditch effort to placate Adhikari till the speaker formally accepts his resignation.
Had Mamata Banerjee wished to, she could have either suspended or expelled Adhikari from the party last month itself. A sulking Adhikari has given enough chances to her to take action against her.
He had stopped holding public meetings under the TMC banner long ago. He had been taking swipes at the party leadership also.
On November 26, he resigned as the chairman of the Hooghly River Bridge Commission (HRBC). The next day he quit as a minister from the Mamata Banerjee cabinet. On December 16, he resigned from the West Bengal assembly as an MLA. And finally on December 17, he quit as a primary member of the TMC.
However, all along this while, Mamata Banerjee did not take any action against him. In contrast, she had expelled Mukul Roy, now a prominent face in the state BJP, from the party in September 2017 just after he announced that he would resign as a Rajya Sabha MP and from the party.
Mamata may be holding herself back from taking action against Adhikari also because the latter would earn public sympathy.This would go against Mamata and the TMC as Adhikari enjoys massive clout with a strong mass base in Nandigram constituency and in East Medinipur district. He was the face of the Nandigram movement of 2007 which catapulted Mamata Banerjee to power and drew curtains on the 34-year-rule CPI(M) rule in the state.
The second reason for the West Bengal speaker to reject Adhikari’s resignation may be to stop him from joining the BJP, albeit temporarily. The speaker has asked the dissident TMC leader to appear before him personally in his chamber on December 21 to make his submission in the matter.
The speaker may disqualify Adhikari from the assembly if he joins the BJP on Saturday without having formally resigned from the TMC and the house.
This would be embarrassing for Adhikari and the BJP as well.
Adhikari may challenge the speaker’s move in the courts later. But for the time being, his joining the BJP may get broiled in controversy, which neither Adhikari nor the BJP would like to happen for now.

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