Kolkata: The differences between the leaders of the old and the new generation in the Trinamool Congress (TMC) increased so much that Mamta Banerjee herself had to intervene. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday dissolved the committee of national office bearers. It also had Mamta’s nephew and national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee. In its place, Mamta has formed a new National Working Committee with 20 members. This move of Mamta has come in the midst of the opposition of Abhishek Banerjee in TMC, public opposition to the policy of ‘one person-one post’ and questions arising about Prashant Kishor’s organization I-PAC.
Abhishek different from party line?
After a massive victory in the West Bengal assembly elections last year, Abhishek Banerjee was considered the unannounced number-2 in TMC after Mamata Banerjee. But in the last few months, he took many such decisions, which were clearly apart from the party line. According to the Indian Express, Abhishek spoke of not giving tickets to such politicians or their relatives, who have a criminal history, in the civic elections in Bengal. But Mamta Banerjee ignored it in ticket distribution. When the Bengal government was promoting the Gangasagar fair on a large scale, Abhishek Banerjee demanded that there should be no big political or religious event in this era of corona epidemic. Abhishek made a statement on fairness in civic elections, which was seen as a confirmation of the allegations of arbitrariness leveled by opposition parties against the Mamata government. Apart from these, Abhishek organized a record testing campaign of Corona in his assembly constituency at a time when the Center was putting the Mamta government in the dock for the low numbers of Corona.
Two list of body candidates
The matter got so heated about all these things that senior TMC leader Kalyan Banerjee refused to accept Abhishek’s statements as a challenge to the state government and refused to accept him as his leader. After this, many leaders made sharp statements against Kalyan Banerjee. The gap between Abhishek Banerjee and the old party leaders was also visible during the announcement of the candidates for the civic elections. Two lists of candidates were released. One on behalf of senior leaders like Partha Chatterjee, Firhad Hakim, Arup Biswas and Subrata Bakshi. And the other is probably Prashant Kishor’s list prepared by I-PAC which was released on the official website of the party. I-PAC is considered to have full support of Abhishek Banerjee.
one person one post
Abhishek Banerjee has been a strong advocate of the principle of one man-one post in TMC. After the 2021 assembly elections, the party had also given an in-principle agreement on this. But in recent times, there has been a lot of tussle within the party regarding this. There was a public spat with the I-PAC regarding the matter of Chandrima Bhattacharya, a minister in the Mamta government. In fact, it was written in the banner on Chandrima’s Twitter page that I support the policy of one person-one post. But Chandrima clearly said that the banner has been changed by the people of I-PAC, who handle her Twitter handle. I-PAC denied this by issuing a statement. Wrote that I-PAC does not handle digital assets of any Trinamool leader. Pointing towards Chandrima, it was further said that whoever is making such a claim, either he is not aware or he is lying outright.
Mamta Banerjee intervened
In the midst of this growing dispute in TMC, Mamta Banerjee called a meeting on Sunday and announced the formation of a new National Working Committee. The posts of all the current office-bearers of the party, including Abhishek Banerjee, were dissolved. In this regard, a senior leader told The Indian Express that for some time there was speculation about differences in the party, but Mamata Banerjee has given a clear message with this decision that the final decision in TMC is hers and one person- One post policy will not be implemented in near future. He says that Mamta has also thrown out Derek O’Brien and Saugata Roy, close to Abhishek. It has also been decided that I-PAC will not be included in the day-to-day activities of Bengal.
But will this decision of Mamta be able to quell the differences in Trinamool? Some senior party leaders believe that this peace is only for a short time. This controversy can raise its head again as soon as it gets a chance.
FIRST PUBLISHED : February 15, 2022, 14:37 IST