The Trinamool Congress government on Friday received a jolt when the transport minister Subendhu Adhikary resigned and gave enough signal of crossing over to the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party). Subendhu, one of the leading lights of the Nandigram movement which weakened the then Left Front government, was considered as a very influential leader of East Midnapore.
The West Bengal unit of the BJP has welcomed his resignation. Its state president Dilip Ghosh said that the doors have been left open for Adhikary to join the party. Subendhu has of late been flexing his muscle and is likely to quit the TMC.
However, when he garlanded the statue of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on her birthday on Nov 19, rumours started doing the rounds that he may join the Congress as the state party chief Adheer Ranjan Chaudhary has only sometimes back asked all the former Congressmen and women to rejoin the party.
If Subendhu really joins the BJP it would certainly be a big challenge for West Bengal chief minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee to compensate for the loss as the Assembly election is due in May next year.
But there are other political pundits who are of the view that Subendhu was strong only when he was with Mamata Banerjee. In the BJP his status would be just like former Union railway minister and the then TMC leader Mukul Roy. The old guards of the saffron party would not allow him to rise.
Anyway, there are many other leaders who may switch side as they fear that the wind is blowing the other way. This includes Mihir Goswamy, MLA from Cooch Behar, who had left for Delhi on Friday.