Kolkata (The Statesman/ANN) - A day after the Trinamul Congress pulled out of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, the Congress yesterday quit the Mamata Banerjee government in the state and six ministers belonging to it handed in their resignation letters to the chief minister.
A Congress delegation led by the Provisional Central Committee (PCC) chief Pradeep Bhattacharjee also handed over to state Governor MK Narayanan a letter informing him of the party's withdrawal of support from the government.
There was an atmosphere of cordiality and courtesy as the six ministers were greeted by the chief minister and some of her key ministers at her chamber in Writers' Buildings. Banerjee, according to Manas Bhuniya, who resigned as the state irrigation minister, appreciated the work done by the Congress ministers and asked them to contact her if necessary and sought their co-operation in running the state.
The six ministers, led by Manas Bhuniya, came at 5 p.m. from Bidhan Bhavan, the Congress headquarters, and submitted their resignation. Apart from Bhuniya, the minister-in-charge of fisheries, Abu Hena, ministers of state Sabina Yasmin, PN Roy, Sunil Tirkey, Abu Naser Khan Chowdhury submitted their resignation letters before leaving for Raj Bhavan. Trinamul Congress leaders like Partha Chatterjee and Sougata Ray accompanied the Congress leaders on their way out.
Minutes after handing in their resignation letters to the chief minister and then the letter of withdrawal of support to the Governor, however, Congress leaders launched a scathing attack on the Trinamul Congress, accusing it of helping "communal BJP (India People's Party) and the opportunist Communist Party of India-Marxist" to derail the economic programme of the Manmohan Singh government.
Bhuniya said: "The Trinamul tried to block every economic measures that the UPA government tried to introduce.'' He said: "It always looks after its party's interest without caring for the country's development on the contrary, whereas the Congress puts the country's interest above the party.''
He said that it is "unfortunate'' that the Trinamul had quit the UPA government when the country is passing through a critical phase, even after getting all co-operation and assistance from UPA chief Sonia Gandhi, the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former Union finance minister, Pranab Mukherjee. The PCC chief said: "I will consult with the AICC general secretary and hold a meeting with Md Shorab, CLP leader and then approach the Speaker demanding that the Congress should get the main Opposition status in the Assembly.''