Did Tuesday’s meeting between top Trinamool Congress leaders and the miffed Suvendu Adhikari actually melt the ice or has it deepened the existing fissures?
Sources close to former Bengal minister Suvendu Adhikari claim that the leader is extremely upset with the sudden turn of events.
Veteran Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy, who has been mediating in the talks, claimed that a “positive conclusion” was reached after Tuesday evening’s meeting with Suvendu Adhikari. The Trinamool Congress heavyweight resigned as minister of transport, irrigation and waterways last week, setting off speculation that he may quit the ruling TMC ahead of the assembly polls next year.
However, soon after Tuesday’s meeting, now Suvendu Adhikari seems to have expressed his displeasure among his close circles about the way in which Tuesday’s meeting unfolded.
It is learnt that the leader from East Midnapore was not aware that TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee would also be present at the talks. Neither did he expect Prashant Kishor at the meeting.
On his part, Saugata Roy had maintained that Abhishek Banerjee himself wanted to sit across the table with Suvendu Adhikari. On two earlier occasions, only Saugata Roy had accompanied by his party colleague Sudip Bandopadhyay to meet Adhikari, in a bid to placate him.
Apart from Abhishek Banerjee, poll strategist Prashant Kishor was also present in Tuesday’s meeting that lasted close to two hours in Kolkata. Suvendu Adhikari immediately left for East Midnapore after Tuesday meeting.
Irked with the entire setting of the meeting, sources close to Suvendu Adhikari say Saugata Roy’s statement that a conclusion had been reached and the ‘onus’ was now on Suvendu Adhikari to explain his stance was ‘premature’.
TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee also spoke to Suvendu Adhikari at the meeting over speaker phone, stressing on the need to work unitedly for the party. Sources close to Suvendu Adhikari say while pleasantries were exchanged out of courtesy, no commitment was made at the meeting.
“We have reached a positive conclusion that Suvendu will stay in the party and shall work together for the good of the party,” Saugata Roy told had India Today TV, emerging out of the meeting.
“He has stated in no uncertain terms that there is no question of his leaving the party or joining the BJP,” the MP had said.