Mamata dissolves TMC office bearer's committee, forms new panel to stem rifttext_fields
Kolkata: In a significant development, Trinamool Congress Chairperson and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday dissolved all the existing posts in the party and formed a 20-member national working committee after holding a meeting with some senior party leaders at her Kalighat residence.
The name of the new office-bearers will later be announced by Banerjee herself.
The significant announcement came at a time when there were rumours that the party's All-India General Secretary, Abhishek Banerjee, is likely to step down from all organisational responsibilities allegedly because of differences with some senior party leaders.
"Mamata Banerjee was re-elected as the Chairperson of the party recently where she announced a small committee to look after party affairs. Today (Saturday), a meeting of that committee was held where she announced our new national working committee," said senior Trinamool leader Partha Chatterjee.
He added that Banerjee will later appoint the new office-bearers and accordingly it would be sent to the Election Commission of India.
Among the leaders who found a place in the national working committee are Amit Mitra, Partha Chatterjee, Subrata Bakshi, Sudip Bandopadhyay, Abhishek Banerjee, Anubrata Mondal, Aroop Biswas, Firhad Hakim, Yashwant Sinha, Asima Patra, Chandrima Bhattacharjee, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, Moloy Ghatak, Jyotipriya Mallick, Goutam Deb, Buluchik Baraik and Rajesh Tripathi.
Interestingly, most of the members of the national working committee belong to Mamata camp, indicative enough that the Chief Minister is keen to establish her control over the party.
Only two leaders from other states -- Yashwant Sinha and Rajesh Tripathi -- are part of the national working committee of Trinamool.
"Till our Chairperson does not announce the new list of office-bearers, all the other posts of the last committee cease to exist," a senior Trinamool leader pointed out.
"The Chief Minister wants to control the party herself. A lot of versions were put forward by different leaders which were creating confusion among the people and the common workers of the party. In this situation, strong control over the party was essential," a senior party leader said.
When asked whether this is an effort to clip Abhishek Banerjee's wings, the leader said, "The Chief Minister wants to establish direct control because people only give votes in her name."
The differences came to the fore during the publication of the list of candidates for the municipal polls by the party, when two lists surfaced - one signed by party Secretary General Partha Chatterjee and state Secretary Subrata Bakshi, and another prepared by I-PAC that had the support and patronage of Abhishek Banerjee.
Though Mamata Banerjee said that the list prepared by Chatterjee and Bakshi was the official list, in many municipalities, Abhishek Banerjee overruled the Chief Minister's decision and gave nominations to the candidates approved by Prashant Kishor and I-PAC.
The situation went to an extent when both Chatterjee and Bakshi told the Chief Minister that it would be better for them to get distanced from active politics than taking instructions from Camac Street (the office of Abhishek Banerjee).
Mamata Banerjee was also unhappy with the situation and gave indications to terminate ties with I-PAC.
Mamata Banerjee had expressed her reservations on certain comments made by Abhishek Banerjee recently, while the latter, on the other hand, felt that the party chairperson was giving more preference to 'outsiders' than her own people.
The difference is a result of a communication gap which a section of the party leaders believe can only be sorted if Mamata Banerjee and her nephew Abhishek Banerjee sit amata for discussions. But till Friday, no such development was in the offing.
Regarding the elections in Goa which is scheduled on Monday, Mamata Banerjee said that Trinamool will do well in four-five seats while its ally Maharashtrabadi Gomantak Party will perform well in two-three seats.