May 10, 2022 5:20:21 am
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) revived its organisational set-up in Assam last year and has seen some high-profile names join since then. Now, to consolidate its presence in the state, the party has set its sight on next year’s panchayat polls. On Wednesday, party MP Abhishek Banerjee, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew, will arrive in Guwahati to inaugurate a new state headquarters and meet the TMC’s state leadership.
Sources in the TMC said that because of Sushmita Dev, the former president of Mahila Congress who joined the party last year, the party could expect a strong performance in the state’s Cachar and Silchar areas. “We are planning to fight the panchayat polls in Assam and field candidates in the Lok Sabha elections. So, the team wants to start its propaganda two years in advance and hence Abhishek is coming to inaugurate the party headquarters,” said a senior TMC leader.
The party also received a leg-up in Assam last month after former Assam Congress chief Ripun Bora resigned from the grand old party to join it. The TMC is banking on Bora’s long experience as an organisational manager to help it build a base in Assam, which will help it make a push in neighbouring states. The TMC is looking to contest next year’s Meghalaya and Tripura Assembly polls and believes that a strong foundation in Assam will aid its efforts in those states too. “We are also strengthening our party in Meghalaya. Increasing footprint in Assam is helping us organisationally in Meghalaya,” added the TMC functionary. Though the TMC’s recent efforts to expand in Goa came a cropper, it is hoping things will be different in Tripura and Assam because of a sizable Bengali population in these states.
Said a senior TMC leader, “We are expecting a better result in Tripura and Assam than Goa. Tripura and Assam have a huge Bengali population. Among these people, Mamata Banerjee has a natural acceptance and popularity. So, the party will get an advantage in these two states. We will get the minority vote too in Assam.” While some believe the “Bengali” tag runs counter to strong Assamese sub-nationalism, Dev has cited the example of the BJP, which managed to become dominant in the state despite its perception once as a party of “outsiders”.
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