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‘Trinamool is Bengal-centric’: Vice chief Pavan Varma quits Mamata’s party after 10 months

Calling it a ‘personal decision’, Varma said he didn’t see any role for himself within the party. He was previously with the JD(U) before being expelled in 2020.

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Kolkata: Trinamool Congress vice president Pavan Varma tendered his resignation to chief Mamata Banerjee Friday after a brief 10-month stint, stating that TMC was a “Bengal-centric party” where he didn’t see “any role” for himself, although he looked forward to “remaining in touch”.

“I want to thank you for the warm welcome accorded to me, and for your affection and courtesies. I look forward to remaining in touch,” he tweeted after quitting the party.

Varma had joined the Trinamool in November 2021 — during Mamata Banerjee’s visit to New Delhi — and was appointed the party’s national vice chief a month later. Two other leaders Kirti Azad and Ashok Tanwar had joined along with him. During his stay in TMC, he attended the national working committee meeting at Mamata’s official residence and also shared the dais with her in Mumbai where she met a group of intellectuals to fight the BJP.

While speaking to ThePrint after resigning, Pavan Varma said, “Trinamool is a Bengal-centric party, and I don’t see any role for me to play. It’s a personal decision I have taken and conveyed it to Mamata ji.” However, Varma didn’t divulge any political plans.

TMC MP Sukhendu Shekhar Roy said Varma’s exit won’t have any impact. “Everybody has the right to join or resign from a political party. That’s Varma’s personal decision to leave,” he told ThePrint. Responding to the accusation of TMC being a “Bengal-centric” party, Roy said, “Maybe Pavan Varma is internationally-oriented, that’s why he felt so.”

Life before joining politics

Pavan Varma, a former diplomat who served in the Indian Foreign Service, he had been the Indian ambassador to Bhutan and Cyprus and director of the Nehru Centre in London. He was also the spokesperson of the External Affairs Ministry.

Born in Nagpur, Varma graduated from St Stephen’s College in Delhi and has authored several best-selling books, including translations of poems penned by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Gulzar and Kaifi Azmi. In 2014, Varma entered the Rajya Sabha.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had picked Pavan Varma as his advisor and made him the JD(U) General Secretary in 2016. He was the party’s national spokesperson and go on to be a regular face on television debates, apart from writing columns in national dailies. He had a fallout with Nitish over the NRC-CAA debate and was expelled from the party in 2020, along with Prashant Kishor for not following “party discipline”.

Varma has won many accolades in his long illustrious career. He is also the recipient of Bhutan’s highest civilian award. He has won several literary honours and has been awarded Honorary Doctoral degrees from the University of Indianapolis and Sharada Institute of Indian Management.

Also read: Trinamool appoints former JD(U) MP Pavan Varma as national vice president


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