In a big development, former West Bengal Minister of State for Youth Services and Sports Laxmi Ratan Shukla refused to endorse the re-election of the TMC government in 2021. Shukla, who resigned from his post on Tuesday, reckoned that Mamata Banerjee's chances of returning as CM depends on her track record in office. He added, "My best wishes are with everyone". In another veiled dig at TMC, Shukla opined that he did not believe in countering violence with violence.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday, the ex-all-rounder revealed that he was taking a break from politics to focus on cricket. At the same time, the TMC leader clarified that he would complete his term as an MLA. Thanking the party for giving him many opportunities, Shukla affirmed that he will continue to work for the welfare of the people. While his international career was limited to three ODIs, he played 137 first-class games for Bengal scoring 6217 runs at an average of 35.93 besides bagging 172 wickets at an average of 34.75.
I've done politics as honestly as I've played cricket. My identity as a cricketer is the most fundamental. For now, I'll focus on sports. I'll complete my term as MLA...Since I'm going to take break from politics, question of joining a party doesn't arise: Laxmi Ratan Shukla, TMC https://t.co/4FTpSBd1Rx pic.twitter.com/Lc7UwXED2Z— ANI (@ANI) January 7, 2021
A day earlier, Bally MLA Baishali Dalmiya laid bare the chinks within TMC. Speaking exclusively to Republic TV, Dalmiya claimed that some elements wanted to finish TMC from within. Expressing dismay over Shukla's decision, she attributed his unhappiness to a few leaders at the local level. Moreover, the daughter of former BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya opined that the exodus of leaders would pose a big challenge for TMC ahead of the 2021 WB Assembly polls.
TMC MLA Baishali Dalmiya remarked, "There are back biters, backstabbers and silent killers who are trying to finish the party from within. I want to pinpoint and remove such people. I was stunned yesterday that former cricketer Laxmi Ratan Shukla had to leave despite working for the party. While I am observing that many people are leaving the party in the last few days, I know Laxmi for many years. We have worked together. If people continue to leave like this, it will be a huge problem ahead of the 2021 election. Leaders are unhappy because of two-four persons."