Cong minister threatens to quit Mamata govt

Kolkata: Peeved over being divested of two of the three departments in his ministry in a cabinet reshuffle, Minister of State Manoj Chakrborty today threatened to resign from the Mamata Banerjee government and accused it of functioning in a "dictatorial manner".

"I have contacted the Congress high command, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Murshidabad district Congress chief Adhir Chowdhury and requested them to allow me to quit the ministry," Chakraborty told reporters here.

Though there was no official notification so far about the reshuffle of departments effected by the chief minister yesterday, Chakraborty was learnt to have been stripped of small scale enterprise and parliamentary affairs portfolios and instead asked to work as minister of state for food processing.

Slamming the chief minister, Chakraborty said, "People have been questioning her own performance. I have been removed from the two departments by the chief minister who wanted to take revenge on me. The government here has been functioning in a dictatorial manner. I am surprised to know that the two departments have been taken away from me suddenly yesterday. I am hundred per cent satisfied with my own performance."

"If there is frequent reshuffle in the ministry, how can work be done? Can a government function this way? I don`t want to remain in this ministry and want to quit as early as possible," he said in disgust. The disgruntled minister said his resignation letter was "ready".

Chakraborty also openly criticised senior Congress leader and Minister Manas Bhuniya, accusing him of playing a "dual role" by asking him to tell "Pranabda that it is not possible to remain in the ministry, while conveying some other thing to Mamata Banerjee."

A close confidant of Adhir Chowdhury, an MP from Behrampore in Murshidabad district, Chakraborty was uncomfortable with the chief minister and often alleged that he had not been allowed to function independently.

Recently the two alliance partners went through a bitter acrimony over the government`s proposal to rename Indira Bhavan, a bunglaw situated at Salt lake, where Indira Gandhi had stayed briefly during the AICC session in 1972.