Former Indian football captain, Bhaichung Bhutia, has announced Monday that he has resigned from All India Trinamool Congress Party.
The footballer turned-politician opted out of politics five years after he joined the Mamata Banerjee’s party. He announced that he had quit Bengal’s ruling party and is not associated with “any political party in India”.
The 41-year-old footballer, who contested elections twice as a Trinamool Congress candidate and lost both times, made his announcement on social media.
“As of today, I have officially resigned from the membership and all the official and political posts of All India Trinamool Congress party. I am no longer a member or associated with any political party in India,” Mr. Bhutia said in a tweet.
As of today I have officially resigned from the membership and all the official and political posts of All India Trinamool Congress party. I am no longer a member or associated with any political party in India. #politics pic.twitter.com/2lUxJcbUDT
— Bhaichung Bhutia (@bhaichung15) February 26, 2018
Mr. Bhutia contested the 2014 Lok Sabha election from Darjeeling but lost to the BJP’s SS Ahluwalia by a huge margin. Two years later, the striker contested the West Bengal Assembly elections from Siliguri and lost to a CPM candidate.
The Press Trust of India quoted sources as saying that Bhutia had informed the Trinamool Congress about his decision one month ago as he was “no longer interested in being associated with any political party”.
In 2011, Mr. Bhutia retired from professional football and around two years after, in 2013, he joined the TMC.
Soon after Bhutia’s announcement, BJP leader and Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Rijiju took to Twitter and wrote: “Football icon and former Indian captain Baichung Bhutia’s resignation from TMC was expected. He told me he has high regards for Mamata Banerjee but unable to cope with the situation. He desires to do more for football and Sikkim. My best wishes to Bhaichung for his future endeavor.”