Assam Trinamool Congress president Dwipen Pathak and two other party leaders resigned today in protest against party supremo Mamata Banerjee's opposition to the final draft of the NRC, which has evoked a sharp reaction from different parties and organisations in the state.
Mr Pathak's resignation came within hours of a Trinamool delegation arriving at the Silchar airport in the Bengali-dominated Barak valley at Ms Banerjee's instructions and being stopped from exiting it by the police.
The ruling BJP as well as other parties in Assam said the Trinamool had no existence in the Barak valley.
Mr Pathak, a former MLA from Hajo, told reporters that he had apprised the party leaders of the "ground realities" in Assam after the publication of the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and urged Ms Banerjee not to send the delegation to the north-eastern state now.
"The party did not pay heed to my suggestion and refused to understand the ground situation here. In this backdrop, it is not possible for me to remain in a party that does not value the Assamese sentiment," Mr Pathak, who was a Trinamool MLA from 2011 to 2016, said.
Two more Trinamool members -- Pradip Pachani of Sibsagar and Diganta Saikia of Golaghat -- too resigned, saying they could not remain members of a party that wanted to compromise the identity of the indigenous Assamese people.
Mr Saikia also threatened to file a case against Ms Banerjee for taking an anti-Assamese stand.
The Trinamool delegation that arrived at Silchar had to return from the Kumbhirgram airport as the district administration did not allow the party leaders to enter the town, where prohibitory orders under Section 144, CrPC are in force since last night.