The Trinamool Congress on Saturday removed five party block presidents in Purulia, including the one from Balarampur where two BJP workers were found dead last week. Party insiders say that the move comes on the back of twin concerns – the BJP’s good performance in last month’s panchayat elections and the mounting pressure on the party since the two deaths in the district.
“It is clear from election results that the BJP performed well in Purulia and we have been on the backfoot following the deaths of BJP workers there,” said a top Trinamool leader who wished to remain anonymous. “The Opposition is now mounting pressure on us, especially after Abhishek Banerjee’s statement (the TMC MP had said the party would make the district ‘Opposition-free’ a few days before the deaths were reported). There is a need to analyse why we could not put up a desired performance here. There is also a need to caution the district leadership.”
The party removed Balarampur block president Sudip Mahato, Para block president Ramlal Mahato, Raghunathpur I block president Krishna Mahato, Raghunathpur II block president Barun Mahato and Saturi block president Ramprasad Chakraborty from their party posts.
The decision was taken during a review meeting held by TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee with the Purulia district leadership on Saturday.
The party appointed three observers — Mriganka Mahato, Rajib Soren and Swapan Beltoria — for the district and formed a four-member committee to analyse the party’s performance in the rural polls and submit a report in 15 days. Purulia district president Shantiram Mahato has also been included in the fact-finding team.
In Purulia, BJP won 59 gram panchayats, while TMC won 56. While TMC won eight panchayat samitis, BJP won four. In terms of seats, out of 1,921 gram panchayat seats in Purulia, Trinamool Congress won 838 seats while the BJP won 644 seats.
On the deaths, the BJP had alleged they were killed by TMC workers and demanded Abhishek Banerjee’s arrest for his comments.
The Trinamool Congress on the other hand denied such allegations and said one of them had committed suicide.