New Delhi: Former Indian cricketer Laxmi Ratan Shukla on Tuesday resigned from his post as Minister of State for Sports in West Bengal  and also as the Trinamool Congress district president in Howrah. However, Shukla continues to remain a TMC MLA. Shukla’s move comes days after after former TMC minister and MLA Suvendu Adhikari quit from Mamata Banerjee’s cabinet and later joined the BJP. Also Read - MLA Baishali Dalmiya Expelled From TMC For Anti- party Activities, Here's What She Said | WATCH

The state secretariat said Shukla’s resignation from the cabinet had been accepted, said sources. Also Read - Fresh Jolt to Mamata Ahead of Elections, Rajib Banerjee Resigns as Forest Minister

Reacting to his resignation, Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said, “Anyone can resign. He (Laxmi Ratan Shukla) wrote in his resignation letter that he wants to give more time to sports and will continue as an MLA. Don’t take it in a negative way.” Also Read - Rift in BJP Ahead of Bengal Elections 2021, Workers Clash at Party Offices, Torch Vehicles

As per reports, for the past couple of months, Shukla had kept himself aloof from various activities of the party. According to an Outlook report, senior TMC leader from Howrah district, Shukla found it difficult to get along with Arup Roy, another senior TMC leader from the district and a TMC veteran.

The former cricketer had joined politics in 2016 and was elected from Howrah north. His resignation from the ministerial post has also raised speculations that this might be his first step towards joining the TMC’s rival, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).