Signaling its disappointment with ally Mamata Banerjee’s style of functioning, the Congress central leadership is unlikely to offer any immediate replacement for its minister Manoj Chakraborty who quit Banerjee’s cabinet in West Bengal in protest.
The Congress high command allowed Chakraborty, a minister of state, to step down last week following a bitter fight between the minister and chief minister Banerjee over downsizing his portfolios.
Now the high command seems to be in no mood to fill in the gap anytime soon to take its due slot in the Bengal cabinet. In keeping the berth vacant, the central leadership of the party would also lent its support to the state unit of the Congress that has already upped its ante against Banerjee’s administration.
When asked about the possible replacement, WBPCC chief Pradip Bhattacherjee earlier said, “Pradesh Congress has not discussed it. What we have decided is that let this chapter (Chakraborty’s resignation) be over. In the next chapter we will decide what is to be done.”
The Congress otherwise maintains a soft line towards its biggest ally that has 19 Lok Sabha MPs. But as a key Congress minister points out, “patience is running out in the party.” The Congress also hopes that after the UP polls, there will be a realignment of allies and dependence on Banerjee will get reduced.