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TMC Minister In The Spotlight As Talks Of Him Defecting Surface

Banerjee had skipped a cabinet meet on 22 December, but attended a state event the day after.

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After former West Bengal Transport Minister and Trinamool Congress honcho Suvendu Adhikari defected from the party to join the BJP, there are reports of another Trinamool minister possibly jumping ship.

Forest Minister and leader from Hooghly, Rajib Banerjee is speculated to have a falling out with the Trinamool Congress, suggest reports.

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Over the past few weeks, and especially after Suvendu's exit, posters independent posters of Banerjee, without any mention of the TMC, have started coming up in Hooghly. Some of these posters showed Banerjee with Suvendu.

In a public meeting in November, Banerjee had expressed his disappointment over how the party was being run by "yes men" and that experienced, older leaders were being sidelined.

Banerjee's complaints with the Trinamool were similar to that made by Adhikari.

The surfacing of posters in Hooghly led Banerjee to be called for a meeting with minister and senior party leader Partha Chatterjee at the latter's residence. Poll strategist Prashant Kishor was also reportedly present at the meeting.

After the meeting Banerjee said that his sentiments should not be clubbed with that of any former member of the party.

"I had been called for a party meeting by a senior member of the party and a colleague. That is it", said Banerjee after the meeting.

However, eyebrows were raised once again after Banerjee remained absent from a cabinet meeting on 22 December.

However, he did attend the inauguration of the annual flower show at the state assembly on 23 December.

Banerjee is MLA from Domjur and was formerly Minister in charge for Irrigation and Waterways, and Tribal affairs & backwards classes.

(With inputs from NDTV)

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