A day after Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader and state minister Rajib Banerjee lashed out at the party leadership, claiming that leaders with abilities were being sidelined, the ruling party dismissed reports of rifts. The statement from the ruling party came even as posters in Banerjee’s support, and praising him as an honest leader, appeared across the capital.
“There is no controversy with Rajib. He is very much in our party and will stay with us,” said urban development minister Firhad Hakim.
On Saturday, Banerjee, the state forest minister, said, “Whenever I tried to prove my competence and skill, I was relegated to the backseat. I don’t know what happened. Corrupt leaders, liars and those who do not enjoy the confidence of people are being brought to the forefront just because they are sycophants.”
On Friday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said those in touch with the Opposition were free to leave the party. Her comments came a couple of days after Adhikari dismissed reports of rapprochement with the party.
The former state transport minister did not address any press conference as was expected earlier. His close aide Kanishka Panda said, “He never said he would hold a press conference today. TMC spread this rumour. He will hold a press conference very soon and will clear his future stand.”
Adhikari and Rajib Banerjee are not the only senior leaders to have recently criticised the TMC. State consumer affairs minister Sadhan Pande, former minister Madan Mitra, TMC’s Barrackpore MLA Shilbhadra Dutta, Shibpur MLA Jatu Lahiri and Bally MLA Baishali Dalmiya have all spoken out against the party in recent weeks.
Outgoing Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) Deputy Mayor Atin Ghosh on Saturday claimed that the party’s “old guard” was being sidelined.
A section of the TMC leadership on Sunday said Ghosh would remain in the party. “Atin will not join the BJP. He is just bargaining because he wants to contest the Assembly elections,” said a senior TMC leader.
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