Congress’ Bengal unit sympathizes with rebel minister

January 19th, 2012 - 12:17 am ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee Kolkata, Jan 18 (IANS) Congress’ West Bengal leadership Wednesday sympathised with the party minister, who had called Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee a “dictator” and had wished to resign from her ministry as he was deeply “hurt and pained” by the sudden reshuffle without the party’s knowledge.

“I have spoken to Manoj Chakroborty. He was deeply hurt and pained and that is why he has clearly stated that he won’t continue as a minister anymore. I will talk to party high command in New Delhi. After consulting central leadership, we will take the necessary decision,” state Congress president Pradip Bhattacharjee said.

Angry after Banerjee clipped his wings by taking away two departments in Monday’s reshuffle, Chakraborty, a minister of state, shot off his resignation to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, party general secretary Rahul Gandhi and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

And after a day of dramatic outburst against the chief minister, Chakraborty left the state secretariat in the evening vowing not to return as minister.

He said he wanted to quit the ministry as it lacked any “standing” or “stability”.

Chakraborty, who had attacked Banerjee Jan 9 when she asked the Congress to walk out of the alliance if it so desired, lost his two portfolios — parliamentary affairs and small and cottage industries. He was made minister of state for food processing and horticulture.

Chakraborty Wednesday also remained firm on his decision and stated that he will never return to the state secretariat as a minister in Banerjee’s government.

“Pradip Bhattacharya had called me and urged me to reconsider my decision. I told him that it was not possible for me to continue as a minister in this government,” Chakraborty said.

The Congress high command, however, has decided to take a “go slow” approach on the issue by stating the decision will be taken in a day or two.

“We will consult on the whole thing and will take a decision in a day or two,” Congress’ Bengal in charge Shakeel Ahmed told IANS.

Asked what does the party feel about the reshuffle of the state ministry without consulting it, Ahmed said: “I have nothing more to say about it as state Congress president had already said that the reshuffle of the state ministry is the prerogative of the chief minister. But it would have been better if the state Congress leadership was consulted.”

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