Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday slammed Lok Sabha MP Aparupa Poddar and other leaders of the Trinamool Congress for their “conduct in public life”, and asked them to “mend their ways” or they would not get nominations in the next elections.
Addressing MPs, MLAs and district party presidents at the first core committee meeting after Trinamool acquired the status of a national party, Mamata also asked leaders to prepare for the 2018 panchayat polls in the state. She further asked state ministers to keep their cellphones switched on 24×7 and receive calls at “all hours”.
“Mamata rebuked Aparupa Poddar for her conduct at a toll plaza, where she had reportedly slapped someone. She clearly said she would not tolerate such activities of public representatives, as this kind of conduct will adversely impact the image of the party in the days to come. She also said that if a public representative misbehaved with the common man, he or she will not get nominations,” a senior leader said. Poddar is an MP from Arambagh constituency in Hooghly district.
Mamata reportedly also reprimanded the party’s Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal for his inability to contain a factional fight in the district, which has brought a lot of embarrassment to the party. Party secretary general Partha Chatterjee said Mondal had been given seven days to resolve the logjam at Guskura in Birbhum.
“Mamata di asked the councillors and party leaders of Guskara Municipality to stop factionalism and instead stress on developmental work. She said she would not tolerate factionalism, and the party would not interfere in the developmental projects,” said a leader. At the meeting, Mamata warned all elected representatives that there should not be any political intervention in the development projects of the government. “Any leader found guilty of unwanted interference in any project would be expelled from the party,” a source quoted Mamata as saying, adding that she also warned party leaders against indiscipline, infighting and syndicate raj and asked them not to become arrogant.
Mamata also expressed dissatisfaction over some leaders extorting money from project sites or getting their supporters jobs there. “The strict measures that Mamata has taken against elected members and leaders will send out a clear and positive message to potential investors,” said a senior leader.
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Meanwhile, alleging discrepancies in the new electoral list prepared by the Election Commission (EC), Mamata asked party leaders to compare it with the old list. “The list contains a lot of errors. We will hold a protest because the EC did not inform us before revising the list. Party vice-president Mukul Roy and general secretary Subrata Bakshi had communicated with the EC regarding the matter,” Partha Chatterjee said.
“Mamata said the list has been prepared without consulting parties. She asked the leaders to compare the old voter list with the new one,” a senior leader said, adding that there was no similarity in the master roll and the revised roll prepared by the EC. “We feel there is a discrepancy and the BJP is behind it,” he alleged.