IN AN attempt to rein in party infighting at the grass-roots level ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the Trinamool Congress has asked its district presidents and leaders to identify the workers involved in such activities and report to the chief minister.
Party infighting and feud between old timers and new members of the party have been reported in many of districts in the past. “Our party chief Mamata Banerjee is not happy. It is a cause for concern that clashes between the old and the new members are taking place. Infighting among party workers in the districts is growing. She has directed us to take steps immediately and identify the guilty. We have already started preparations for the Lok Sabha elections. Almost all Opposition leaders will be present in the rally on Brigade Parade Ground on January 19. At this time we will not tolerate such infighting,” said a senior Trinamool Congress leader considered close to Mamata.
“All district observers and presidents have been asked to identify groups who are involved in such activities and directly report to our party chief. Strict action will be taken against the guilty. If necessary, we will expel them. We cannot allow such groups to tarnish the image of the party,” said the senior leader.
Districts such as Cooch Behar, Uttar Dinajpur, Nadia, Burdwan, North and South 24 Parganas have been witnessing party infighting, clashes between old and new members and also between Trinamool Congress workers and its youth workers. According to sources, detailed report has been sought from the district presidents. A list will be shortly drawn of such leaders and groups, who will first be warned and if they don’t listen strict action will be taken.
Besides Chief Minister and party chief Mamata Banerjee, who has been vocal about the issue, her nephew and head of Trinamool Youth Congress, MP Abhishek Banerjee also asked party workers to work along with the old members.
“I am getting reports and complaints that members who had been with the party since its inception are not getting their due importance. Both the old and the new members should work together,” said Abhishek Banerjee at a public meeting in Panihati on Saturday.
According to party sources, the chief minister is unhappy over regular infighting among the members in various districts, with each group vying to grab power in their localities. Reports of armed clashes have also been reported to the chief minister.
According to party insiders, Mamata, who wants to become a prominent challenger to the BJP at the national-level, has made it clear that no laxity in the organization in Bengal will be tolerated.