02 Feb 2021: Not allowed to work: Two-time MLA quits Trinamool Congress
Just ahead of the high-voltage polls in West Bengal, the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) is losing one MLA after another. The latest one to join the list is Dipak Haldar, a two-time MLA from Diamond Harbour, that falls under the Lok Sabha constituency of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's nephew, Abhishek Banerjee.
As expected, Haldar joined Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today afternoon.
Letter: He sent his resignation letter via post
On Monday, Haldar sent his resignation letter to Subrata Bakshi, TMC's State President via speedpost.
"I was never allowed to work freely. I was not even allowed to supervise projects that were carried out using the MLA's area development fund. I decided to leave instead of taking the insult," it read.
A copy was also sent to South 24 Parganas District President Subhasish Chakraborty.
Allegations: I don't deserve this: MLA alleged harassment allegations
Haldar also accused a section of leadership in TMC of harassing him and his family members.
"Just because of differences with me, my family members were also harassed. Why should I tolerate this humiliation?" he wrote in the letter.
Asserting that he is committed to the people of his constituency, Haldar stated he won't resign as a legislator.
MLA: He was expelled from TMC in 2015
Notably, Haldar won the Diamond Harbour seat twice - in 2011 and 2016.
However, he was expelled from TMC in 2015 following his arrest in connection to a clash at the Fakir Chand College. He was later released on bail but post the scandal, took a backseat.
Haldar is close to former Kolkata Mayor Sovon Chatterjee, who has also ditched TMC for BJP.
Response: TMC termed Haldar a 'non-performing' MLA
Reacting to Haldar's exit, TMC said he was a "non-performing MLA" and knew that he wouldn't get a ticket this time.
"Why did he feel this urge to leave after serving as an MLA for 10 years? Like the other defectors, he, too, was blessed by wisdom just before the polls. We are neither surprised nor bothered," said spokesperson Kunal Ghosh.
Battle: At least 18 former and sitting TMC MLAs joined BJP
Tellingly, TMC, which is eyeing another term, is facing tough competition from BJP in Bengal.
BJP performed well in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, and has strengthened itself by welcoming at least 18 sitting and former MLAs of TMC into its fold.
On Saturday, former forest minister Rajib Banerjee and a group of rebels joined BJP at the residence of Home Minister Amit Shah.