‘I don’t think Trinamool is anymore in control of Mamata; it is being run by some corporate advisers’
Hours after his dramatic resignation on the floor of the Rajya Sabha, former Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi speaks to The Hindu on the reasons for his exit from the Trinamool Congress.
How long have you been contemplating leaving the party?
I never thought of leaving the party. I have been talking to this leader, that leader, sending this message and that message. But there was no platform to address the issues that I have. When some insecure people become the leader of the party and their entire job is to backbite and hatch conspiracies then there is a serious problem in the party. I realised that I can’t deal with that. We made TMC, there were two general secretaries — Mukul Roy and Dinesh Trivedi. I can’t live in a party where there is so much bitterness. I respect Mamata Banerjee a lot and will continue to do so. I don’t think the party is anymore in control of Ms. Banerjee; it is being run by some corporate advisers. Why should a poor party pay someone so much money to dish out political advice?
When was the last time you spoke to Mamata Banerjee?
I don’t remember when I spoke to her last. I have no complaint against her. I sent her a message where I said that I can’t take this anymore, for me the country is more than anything.
You claim that corporate advisers have taken over the party. Who exactly are you referring to?
I don’t want to name anyone. I have seen more public life than a lot of people who have just come. They have no idea between a panchayat and a municipality. If they are going to become leaders, then I think there is something terribly wrong with the party. It is up to you to decode who they are.
What was the last straw for you?
You are sitting in this August House as a representative of the people but you can’t do anything. I didn’t want to become a Bhishma Pitamah. In Mahabharata, Bhishma Pitamah was blamed for watching the violence and injustice unfold without saying a word. I cannot keep quiet when there is corruption in the party and violence on the streets of Bengal. Now when BJP president J.P. Nadda’s cavalcade was attacked I was condemned by the party because I didn’t condone the violence. Every day I was asked to abuse Prime Minister Narendra Modi. That is not my value system. I cannot do that. If the Prime Minister does something good, we must appreciate it. And if the government does something wrong we must draw their attention and emphatically oppose it while maintaining decorum.
I have had cordial relations with Mr. Modi for a long time. I have cordial relations with Sitaram Yechury and Biman Bose too. I have cordial relations with Mohan Bhagwat too. I am a person who doesn’t believe that people in the opposing parties have to be your enemy. I will continue in public life, but at present it is time for introspection.