Rabindranath Bhattacharya, a key minister in Mamata Banerjee cabinet who has expressed his desire to quit after being shunted to a less important department, did not attend the Singur block Trinamool Congress meeting for the first time on Saturday. Bhattacharya, who has been a member of the party since its inception in 1998 and is the party's Singur MLA since 2006, however, did not clarify whether he has sent his resignation to the chief minister.
Asked about his decision to stay away, he said "if I am not up to the standard, then why was a portfolio given to me? I have no wish to join the ministry now. I will be at home and lead a retired life ... there are so many books I have not read."
Bhattacharya was shunted to Statistics and Programme Implementation from Agriculture in Wednesday's cabinet reshuffle. He has skipped the state secretariat and stayed at his village home in Singur ever since the change in portfolio was announced.
Asked whether he would attend Banerjee's meeting to be held here on November 30 for the development of Hoogly district, he said "she (Banerjee is my leader. I will go if I am asked to do so by her. But if a letter is sent to me through one of the officials, I will not go."
The chief minister's meeting is scheduled to be held at the Singur BDO office and will be attended by 18 BDOs, MPs and MLAs of Hoogly district.