West Bengal Assembly Elections 2021: Disgruntled Trinamool Congress leader Suvendu Adhikari on Wednesday resigned from the membership of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly amid rumours of him joining the BJP camp during Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to the state on December 19-20. Adhikari has already resigned as West Bengal transport minister and from other posts and has been distancing himself from the party for several months now. Also Read - Can't Invite Then Insult Someone: Mamata Banerjee Boycotts Speech at Netaji's Event In Front on PM Modi

Welcoming the decision, BJP vice-president Mukul Roy said, “The day Suvendu Adhikari had resigned from the ministerial post, I had told I will be happy if he leaves TMC  and we will welcome him. Today he has resigned from the membership of West Bengal Legislative Assembly & I welcome his decision.” Also Read - There Should be 4 National Capitals For India, Make Bengal Alternate One: Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh also reacted to the development and said, “It was bound to happen. Many MLAs left TMC earlier too and joined our party. There’s no democracy or respect for people in TMC. Those who want to join in the change in Bengal & contribute to its development are leaving TMC & joining us.” Also Read - Bengal May Witness 7-8 Phase Election, Full Poll Schedule Likely to be Announced in First Week of Feb

Meanwhile, discontentment within the ruling TMC in West Bengal grew louder after its senior MP Sunil Mandal and Asansol civic body chief Jitendra Tiwari came out in support of disgruntled party leader Suvendu Adhikari and blamed the party for not addressing the grievances on time as a sense of drift has crept in.

Two-time Bardhaman Purba Lok Sabha MP Sunil Mandal this morning came out in support of Adhikari and criticised the party leadership for not doing enough in controlling the infighting and corruption within it.

“Suvendu Adhikari is a good leader and has a strong mass base. It will adversely impact TMC in polls if he deserts it … There is a drift in the party,” he said.

“There are a lot of problems in the party and the leadership has failed to address it. The party leadership is saying old-timers and newcomers have to work together, but nothing has happened in this regard,” the MP said.

Speculations are rife that Mandal is likely to meet Adhikari this afternoon. Asked about it, Mandal merely said he has known Adhikari for a long time. Posters of the two leaders have come up in Mandal’s constituency with an appeal to join the TMC heavyweight.

Meanwhile, Tiwari, who had recently slammed the state government for depriving the industrial town of Asansol of central funds for political reasons, this afternoon lauded Adhikari as the second most important mass leader after TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee.

Tiwari while addressing a rally fuelled speculations by saying this might be his last address as Paschim Bardhaman district party unit chief.

“Whoever is saying anything or expressing his grievances about the party(TMC) are being asked to leave it. Suvendu Adhikari is the second most important mass leader after party supremo Mamata Banerjee. But he too had grievances. When I expressed my problems, I was told to join BJP by municipal affairs minister Firhad Hakim,” he said.

(With agency inputs)