Don't misunderstand party : Mamata Banerjee to disgruntled TMC leaders

Banerjee said she will henceforth personally look after the party as well as the administration
Last Updated 25 November 2020, 13:02 IST

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in a message to disgruntled TMC leaders on Wednesday said she is aware of those in touch with the oposition camp and differences among individuals should not lead to any misunderstanding of the party.

Banerjee said she will henceforth personally look after the party as well as the administration.

"I have been in politics all my life. Through my experience I can never claim that everybody is good. There may be one or two people who are not good, but we will set right those mistakes. The TMC will rectify if some mistakes have been committed," she said in her first major public rally here in the post-Covid time.

"There can be misunderstanding or someone may be angry with some individuals, but please don't misunderstand the party for that," Banerjee appealed.

TMC, she said, has a mechanism for seeking ground reports about its leaders and had removed several leaders against whom there were complaints. "Some have grievances over who will act as the party observer of which district. I want to make it clear that I am the party's observer for the entire state. When you are in a political party you need to take everybody along," she asserted.

Banerjee's comment follows complaints by several TMC leaders that the reins of the party is no longer in her hands.

Disgruntled TMC leader and state Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikari is maintaining a distance with the party and has not attended meetings of the state cabinets for some months. Sources close to the leader said he is unhappy with the organisational rejig effected a few months ago and wasn't comfortable with the idea of scrapping the post of the district observer.

"I am occupied with the administrative work. But from now on, I will look after both - the party and the government. If someone thinks that Didi is not aware of their activities, then they are wrong. I am aware of everything", Banerjee, who is fondly called Didi (elder sister) by her party cadres, said.

"I want to say it clearly that I am very well aware of the intentions of those who are keeping in touch with the opposition camp. I know there are few opportunists, but the number is very less in comparison to dedicated workers," she said without naming anyone.

Adhikari has been conducting rallies and marches without party banners for the last one month. TMC has started backchannel talks with him to address his grievances but those have been inconclusive so far.

Adhikari apart from East Midnapore district, from where he hails, influences about 40-45 assembly constituencies of West Midnapore, Bankura, Purulia and Jhargram districts which fall in the tribal Jangalmahal area and parts of Birbhum district.

It is not just Adhikari whose conduct is troubling the TMC top brass. Several other MLAs and leaders have also openly spoken against it, something which was unthinkable a few years ago. Many disgruntled TMC leaders have pointed to poll strategist Prashant Kishore tasked by the party to strategise its campaign for the all important 2021 state poll.

Election to the 294-member West Bengal Assembly is due in April-May next year when Banerjee will seek to be returned to power for the thrid consecutive term.

(Published 25 November 2020, 13:02 IST)

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