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Why TMC MP Mimi Chakraborty sent her resignation to Mamata Banerjee

Prominent Tollywood actor and Trinamool Congress (TMC) Lok Sabha member from Jadavpur, Mimi Chakraborty, recently sent her resignation to West Bengal chief minister and party chairperson Mamata Banerjee.

Kolkata: In this Tuesday, May 14, 2019 file photo, actor and TMC leader Mimi Chakraborty, in Kolkata. Chakraborty on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, met party chief and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and submitted her resignation as a parliamentarian. (PTI Photo/Swapan Mahapatra)(PTI02_15_2024_000246B)(PTI)

With the Lok Sabha elections just months away, Chakraborty is the party’s second actor-turned-politician this month to express a wish to turn away from politics.

Banerjee has, however, not accepted the resignation, Chakraborty told the media after meeting the party supremo at the state legislative assembly building last week.

“I recently sent my resignation to Didi (Banerjee). I have understood that politics is not my cup of tea. Didi (Banerjee) called me today. I met her but she has not accepted my resignation. She said she will take care of everything,” Chakraborty told reporters outside the Bengal assembly. “I am like a daughter to her. She is very affectionate. I told her I want to remain a worker of the party but don’t want to continue in Parliament,” Chakraborty had said.

Earlier this month, Deepak Adhikari, popularly known as Dev, one of the highest-paid Bengali movie stars and TMC Lok Sabha member from Ghatal, told the media that he may not contest the coming polls. He, however, changed his mind after Banerjee promised that the state government would fund the Ghatal Master Plan, a long-pending irrigation project in his constituency.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the TMC fielded 17 women candidates in West Bengal’s 42 seats. Chakraborty and Nusrat Jahan, another Tollywood actor, were among the party’s surprise nominees from the movie industry. Chakraborty was fielded from the prestigious Jadavpur constituency – a seat dear to the TMC supremo’s heart – replacing Sugata Bose, historian and grandnephew of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

In the Lok Sabha election of 1984, Mamata Banerjee won the Jadavpur seat and became the youngest MP at age 29, after defeating the veteran former Communist Party of India (Marxist) heavyweight, the late Somnath Chatterjee.

Both Chakraborty and Jahan were trolled by a section of people on social media immediately after Banerjee announced their candidature in March 2019, before the last Lok Sabha elections.

In May 2019, the two MPs also faced criticism on social media for their choice of clothes when attending Parliament, and a certain section of people said they were not appropriately dressed for the Parliament.

Recently, however, Chakraborty resigned from two Parliament committees – the standing committee on industrial affairs of Parliament and the joint committee of Union ministry of power, new and renewable energy – before sending her resignation to Banerjee. She also resigned as chairperson of the Nalmuri and Jirangacha block’s Primary Health Centre Patient Welfare Association in Jadavpur.

“I don’t want to contest the election. We are actors. I think the love of the people (we get as actors) gets divided when we join politics. I saw in the media that a section of the people have been saying that I took this step to ensure my ticket in the coming polls. I don’t know why they are saying so. Politics is not for people like me,” Chakraborty said.

She also said that she has been facing flak unnecessarily from a section of the people.

“I have been criticised and abused randomly for no reason. People may say this is no reason to resign, but for me, it is a big reason. I am not a politician. Nor will I ever be a politician. I have always wanted to work for the people,” she told media persons.

Citing instances, Chakraborty said that if she attended Parliament, a section of people and TMC functionaries criticised her for not giving time to her constituency, and if she moved around in her constituency, she was being criticised for not attending Parliament sessions.

The actor has been regular in asking questions in the Lok Sabha, ranging from topics such as the interlinking of rivers to issues related to micro, small and medium enterprises, and renewable energy. She has also been a vociferous voice for women’s empowerment. Women voters are a core segment of the TMC support base.

The actor-turned-MP’s sudden move, however, didn’t seem to have gone down well with some TMC leaders.

“After completing the entire five-year tenure as an MP, when all the sessions of the Lok Sabha have ended, all the meetings of the standing committees are over and all the work that was to be done with MP local area development funds is over, if someone wants to resign, it is her or her wish. Our party supremo is looking into the matter,” said Kunal Ghosh, TMC spokesperson.

TMC leaders took the examples of other Tollywood party celebrities including actor-turned-MP for Birbhum Satabdi Roy, Medinipur MLA and actor June Malia, Barrackpore MLA and film director Raj Chakraborty, all of whom were still working as peoples’ representatives.

The BJP took potshots at the TMC over the latest developments, alleging that Chakraborty has been a victim of the TMC’s corrupt practices.

“Just like state government employees, pensioners and deserving candidates who didn’t get jobs, Chakraborty is also a victim of the corrupt practices of the present government. She was even administered a fake Covid injection at a camp organised by a fake IAS officer. I welcome her if she really wants to resign and protest against the TMC government. Only time will tell whether she really wants to resign or has other plans like another TMC MP who recently expressed his desire to resign,” Suvendu Adhikari, BJP legislator and leader of the opposition in the state legislative assembly, told media persons.

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