Trinamool's Dinesh Trivedi quits as MP, says ‘feel suffocated’
Trivedi said “motherland is supreme”, cited his antaratma (inner voice) and his inability to speak about the “violence” and the “situation” in West Bengal and said “there is no point to just sit here and remain silent”
Former Union rail minister and senior Rajya Sabha MP Dinesh Trivedi announced his resignation from the Rajya Sabha while participating in the debate on Union Budget as he felt “suffocated”.
Trivedi’s announcement of resignation comes weeks after politically heavyweight Suvendu Adhikari, minister Rajib Banerjee and a few other Trinamool Congress MLAs quit West Bengal’s ruling party and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). West Bengal elections are expected in April-May.
Trivedi said “motherland is supreme”, cited his antaratma (inner voice) and his inability to speak about the “violence” and the “situation” in West Bengal and said “there is no point to just sit here and remain silent”.
“The way there is violence, I feel awkward what should I do by sitting here. In reality, we are for our homeland. I am in a party. Party has disciplines. But now I am feeling suffocated. I am grateful to my party for sending me here. Swami Vivekananda had said, ‘arise and awake’. If I am sitting here and can’t do anything, it’s better that I resign and go back to Bengal,” he said.
To be sure, the explosive announcement doesn’t automatically result in his resignation. As deputy chairman Harivansh said, Trivedi has to write a letter in the prescribed format and submit it to chairman Venkaiah Naidu.
Trivedi is a prominent face of the Trinamool Congress to reach out to non-Bengali voters who constitute a huge section of Kolkata and North 24 Parganas’ population. According to party grapevine, Trivedi is also one of the key fund managers of the party.
Trinamool Congress was clearly taken aback. It, however, issued a statement saying, “Trinamool means grassroots. This will give us an opportunity to send one of our ‘grassroot’ workers soon to the Rajya Sabha.”
Trivedi also cited his brief tenure in the rail ministry and the presentation of the budget. He said, “Even at that time, I had listened to my inner voice and kept the interests of the motherland supreme.”
His budget that proposed a hike in passenger fare left West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee so furious that he had to resign that same evening. Mukul Roy, his replacement, replied to the budget debate in Parliament.