In a jolt to Trinamool Congress, facing the heat of Saradha scam, its Rajya Sabha member Srinjoy Bose resigned from the party and also as MP today saying he has realised that politics was not his “cup of tea”.
Bose’s resignation came barely a day after he was released from jail on conditional bail after spending 75 days in CBI and judicial custody after his arrest by the central investigating agency in connection with the scam in November.
“I would like to inform that with immediate effect, I have resigned from my membership of the Rajya Sabha. I have also decided to resign from the primary membership of the party – the Trinamool Congress,” he said in a release.
His resignation prompted TMC national spokesperson and chief whip of TMC parliamentary party in Rajya Sabha Derek O’Brien to allege that Bose had been put “under tremendous pressure”.
“We have been saying for some time now that he (Bose) has been put under tremendous pressure by the party in power at the Centre. He was released on bail yesterday. He resigned today. We are happy that he got ‘freedom’ yesterday,” he said in a statement put up on TMC’s website.
Party Secretary-general Partha Chatterjee said there was pressure on Bose to resign from the party and Parliament.
“Maybe pressure of BJP, maybe pressure of a news channel,” was Chatterjee’s cryptic reply when quizzed by newsmen in Burdwan at a programme.
Bose, editor-in-chief of a Bengal daily and former editor of Trinamool Congress mouthpiece ‘Jago Bangla’, said it was during his days in custody that he understood “politics is not my cup of tea”.
Pressure from his family had also shaped his decision. “There has also been a lot of pressure from my family, specially from my mother and my wife which finally made me take the decision,” the release said.
Bose thanked TMC supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for making him an MP. “I would also like to express my deepest gratitude and thanks to all persons who have stood by my family during these extreme difficult time,” he said.
“It is Srinjoy’s personal choice. It is his prerogative. It is his democratic right,” O’Brien in his statement said.
He said the seat will be filled by All India Trinamool Congress. “We will soon announce the name of a party member who will then become a member of the Rajya Sabha.”
“We wish Srinjoy well in all that he does. We wish him a speedy recovery. Our warm wishes to him and his entire family,” he added.
Bose was under treatment at the state-run SSKM hospital and was released on conditional bail late evening yesterday.
His resignation is seen in political circles as a further jolt to TMC at a time when the party is battling with the scandal with some of its leaders alleged to be linked to Saradha chit fund and summoned by CBI for interrogation time to time.
Mamata Banerjee had recently said she does not want back-stabbers in the party amid some dissenting voices within it. She and her lieutenant, party secretary general Partha Chatterjee have dared fence-sitters to quit.
Bose was among the 12 TMC Rajya Sabha members. Of them the Saradha ponzy scam-accused and suspended MP Kunal Ghosh is now in jail in connection with the scandal.
He was arrested by the Special Crime branch of CBI on November 21 last year by CBI for alleged criminal conspiracy, misappropriation of funds and deriving undue financial benefits in connection with the Saradha ponzy scam.
Assistant general secretary of city soccer giant Mohun Bagan, Bose is the first senior Trinamool leader to be granted bail in the Saradha case.
West Bengal’s Sports and Transport Minister Madan Mitra and another Trinamool leader and former DGP Rajat Majumdar are now behind bars in connection with the scam.
Bose’s father, a businessman, too was a TMC RS member. Bose had taken his place in Rajya Sabha from Trinamool Congress in 2011.