West Bengal Minister Laxmi Ratan Shukla resigned from his post on Tuesday, sources in the state secretariat said. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday accepted the resignation of state minister Laxmi Ratan Shukla and forwarded the same Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar. Shukla, a former cricketer, stepped down from his post of Minister of State for Sports in the Mamata Banerjee government.
The resignation of Shukla came at a time when the ruling Trinamool Congress was battling with desertions and almost a fortnight after state transport minister Suvendu Adhikari had left the party and joined BJP. Several Trinamool Congress leaders quit the party to join the BJP, which is eyeing a victory over Mamata Banerjee’s party in the upcoming West Bengal Assembly election. Mamata Banerjee said, “Shukla has written that he will continue as MLA till his term. But he wants to quit politics. I welcome his decision and I wish him all the best. He is a sportsperson and wants to concentrate on sports and I wish him well.”
Thirty-nine-year-old Shukla is a former Bengal Ranji team captain and the sitting MLA from Howrah (Uttar) constituency. Shukla had joined the TMC in the run up to the 2016 West Bengal Assembly election. His resignation is a loss of a known face for Mamata Banerjee, who has lost once close confidante Suvendu Adhikari to the BJP months before the Bengal election as she eyes third consecutive term in office.