With factional feuds within the Trinamool Congress on the rise,and most key leaders appointed as legislators or ministers,the party organisation could be heading towards a leadership crisis,insiders feel.
Before being appointed Railway Minister,Mukul Roy,for example,had been general secretary of the Trinamool. Holding overall charge of the party,Roy used to play an important role in implementing party decisions in the districts. Roy is also a key policymaker of the Trinamool.
With Roy being shifted to the Centre at a time when clashes within the Trinamool are making headlines regularly,some MLAs have emphasized the need for reforms in the party organization and assignment of leaders capable of working out a mechanism to stop infighting.
Trinamool leaders contacted by The Indian Express did not want to be quoted,but most of them admitted that the party was heading towards a crisis because of the rift among leaders in south Bengal districts.
“It is very unfortunate that senior leaders in some districts are encouraging factionalism instead of keeping the party united. This is not good for the party’s health. The districts from where reports of internal feuds came to state leaders are Burdwan,Birbhum,South 24-Parganas and North 24-Parganas. Something has to be done to settle the disputes among the district leaders immediately,” a party MLA said.
The Indian Express had recently asked Roy about the factional feuds. Roy tried to downplay them as ‘stray’ incidents. “There are 341 blocks in West Bengal and the party is now in power. Of course,some unfortunate incidents have occurred,but the number is insignificant. We have made it clear that no attempts to weaken the party from within will be allowed,” Roy had said.
If the party organization is not given attention,it might affect the party’s performance in the panchayat polls next year,some TMC legislators feel. After being voted to power,factional feuds have increased and if immediate steps are not taken,the party will have to pay the price,sources said.
“As most key party leaders are either ministers or MLAs,the party seems to be suffering from a leadership crisis. The ministers are busy with their departments. Roy used to take policy decisions in consultation with the chief minister. Now that he is Railway Minister,it will be impossible for him to keep a tab on party activities in West Bengal. The question,therefore,is who will look after the party,” a TMC MLA from Hooghly district said.
Trinamool MLA said the party’s youth wing was not getting adequate importance. “There was a plan for a reshuffle in the youth wing. There was the possibility of removal of Subhendu Adhikary as president of the Trinamool Youth Congress West Bengal Committee. But the move did not see the light of day.”