To pre-empt defections from the TMC ahead of the Assembly polls in 2021, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she will know if any “greedy” party leader tries to contact rival parties.
“There are two types of leaders: greedy and unselfish. Decide, what you want to be. If you contact another party while being in the TMC, we will get the news,” Banerjee was quoted as saying by a TMC leader in a party meeting on Thursday. According to senior TMC leaders, Banerjee’s stern message was aimed at some party functionaries who are said to be in touch with the BJP ahead of the state polls.
In a major overhaul in party’s organisational structure as reported by The Indian Express on Thursday, Banerjee scrapped the observer’s post and formed two new committees to take on the opposition parties in the polls. She also accorded significant party responsibilities to young leaders and axed a few old guards. With the reshuffle, the TMC looks to wrest back its control in areas that were won by the BJP during the Lok Sabha polls. The BJP bagged 18 of the 42 LS seats.
Sources said veteran and unpopular leaders, including sitting MLAs, will not be fielded in the Assembly election on the account of corruption allegations. “The party knows that such leaders may switch to BJP. In addition, we will not compromise on the corruption front,” said a senior TMC leader on Monday.
He said that the observer’s post was done away because two-three leaders were trying to form their factions and controlling respective district administrations.
“So, Banerjee wanted to break this nexus and took everything in her own hand before the Assembly elections… Now, every decision regarding every district will be taken by her or the newly-formed steering committee or the Core Committee, which includes her trustworthy lieutenants Subrata Bakshi and Abhishek Banerjee,” he said.
As the TMC is battling corruption allegations in the Amphan cyclone relief efforts, the party has decided to induct young faces with an unchequered image.
According to sources, the organisational overhaul was undertaken based on a district-wise survey by poll strategist Prashant Kishor’s team.
Kishor’s inputs and his team’s year-long assessment of the ground realities have played a key role in the rejig, said party sources. “However, Mamata Banerjee’s decision is supreme. But Kishor and his team have worked as eyes and ears of Banerjee in this regard,” another senior TMC leader said.
WITH PTI INPUTS
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