Trinamool Congress sets mood in first pre-poll workers' meet

Trinamool Congress sets mood in first pre-poll workers' meet

The Trinamool Congress held its first workers’ meet on Saturday, making clear that the ruling party has gone into poll mode, barley five months before the Assembly elections.

While workers received guidelines to follow over the next few months, diatribe by leaders against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Central government and  the Left parties set the mood for the forthcoming campaign for polling in April-May.

Lashing out at the Centre for neglecting West Bengal, Trinamool Yuva president Abhishek Banerjee said that despite repeated notes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has not paid heed to the debt-ridden condition of the state.

While he blamed the Left for leaving Bengal in deep waters, he poked a finger at the Left leadership for failing to understand that people are not willing to bring them back anytime soon.

Political observers believe that by making party youth wing chief the keynote speaker at the meet, Mamata has made it clear that her nephew is fast gaining importance within the hierarchy.

“With leaders like Mukul Roy and Madan Mitra out of the way, Abhishek is being hailed as the future,” said a senior party leader.

He added: “When he was made Trinamool Yuva president, it became clear that he is being groomed for a bigger rol.”

Sources acknowledged that not just in the media, but also among party workers, Abhishek is often openly referred to as “Yuvaraj”, the prince, in the same manner Congress workers think of party vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

“There remains no doubt within the party that Abhishek is the heir apparent. Though the final decision is taken by Mamata herself, Mukul had a say in probable candidates. These days Abhishek plays that role,” a leader said.

While Mamata unofficially kick-started the party’s poll campaign during her visit to North Bengal in November, she is making Abhishek address more and more public rallies, which observers feel is a move to promote him as an important public figure.

The young leader has already addressed a public rally at Dumdum in Kolkata’s northern fringes in November and is scheduled to address a series of meetings across Bengal, sources said.

Political observers pointed out that by starting the first workers’ meet with an attack on the BJP and the Left, the Trinamool has made it clear who its prime foes will be during the poll campaign.

“Strangely, Abhishek or any other leader has not said anything against the Congress. It seems Mamata is treading carefully with the hope that this will stop the Congress from tying up with the Left.” He added: “ Mamata knows if an alliance is formed, it could become an uphill task.”

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