NEW DELHI: In yet another major setback for Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal ahead of the next year assembly elections in the state, MLA Silbhadra Datta has tendered his resignation from the party. 

According to reports, Datta, TMC MLA from Barrackpore assembly constituency in North 24 Parganas, tendered his resignation from the party on Friday (December 18). He sent his resignation to Trinamool Congress chief and Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee by email, triggering speculation that he may join a long list of party leaders who have either joined the BJP or is willing to go ahead of the assembly elections, likely in March-April.

He, however, made it clear that he will not resign as an MLA, said a PTI report. 

Over the last few months, Datta has been vocal about his opposition to election strategist Prashant Kishor and the way he was handling party affairs. Datta, once a Mukul Roy loyalist when the BJP leader was in Trinamool Congress, has also spoken against a section of the party’s leadership.

On December 17, heavyweight Suvendu Adhikari quit the party after giving up his cabinet portfolios in the state government and resigning as an MLA. Hailing Adhikari, Pandabeswar MLA and Asansol civic body chief Jitendra Tiwari also quit the party, amid speculation that they may switch over to the BJP.

Former minister Shyamaprasad Mukherjee has also announced that he would leave the party and join the BJP.

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