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Polls coming, Mamata shifts focus to party

Sources said that while earlier the chief minister concentrated on government work and regular administrative meetings, a group of senior leaders looked after the party’s daily activities. At present, Banerjee is looking into the smallest details of the party’s grassroots campaign.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
January 31, 2021 2:11:41 am
mamata banerjee, tmc, Manik Sakar, Kolkata bjp, west bengal assembly polls, kolkata news, indian express newsMamata Banerjee. (File)

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been concentrating more on the daily activities of Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders and the party’s campaign over the past month, TMC leaders in the know said on Saturday.

Sources said that while earlier the chief minister concentrated on government work and regular administrative meetings, a group of senior leaders looked after the party’s daily activities. At present, Banerjee is looking into the smallest details of the party’s grassroots campaign.

“So far, her concentration was on providing good governance to the people of Bengal. She gave more time as a chief minister. But in the past month, things have changed. Now, she is spending more time on the party. She is not only infusing confidence in the rank and file, but is also personally looking into grassroots-level politics in the districts,” said a senior TMC leader close to Banerjee.

The shift in focus has come at a time the BJP is trying to get several Cabinet ministers and MLAs over to its side. While the TMC chairperson has said that those seeking to leave the party should do so immediately, she is also personally looking into the genuine grievances of a section of the leadership. “Not only that she is listening to grievances personally but also preparing an alternative to leaders and MLAs who have left or are suspected would leave soon. She has already put in place an alternative list of leaders, ones better compared to those who have left or will leave. Some of the MLAs who have left would not have got tickets from the TMC this time,” said a TMC leader.

Since last week, Banerjee has started chairing closed-door meetings with party leaders from each district. She has also held meetings with senior leaders. On Friday, she chaired a meeting with MPs, MLAs and leaders at her home in Kalighat in south Kolkata. Sources in the TMC said that such meetings would now be held regularly.

“She is planning everything. She is keeping an eye on the public statements made by leaders. The CM is implementing a roster for every leader. She has asked MPs and Cabinet ministers to give more time to the campaign. She has asked all leaders to hit the streets from February and take on the BJP. She is personally keeping a tab on all 294 Assembly seats in the state. It is like the old days,” said a TMC MP who attended the Kalighat meeting.

It is learnt that Banerjee herself has decided to address more public meetings. The parliamentarian added, “She is personally looking into the details of the campaign — what our leaders should say to the public, how they will reach out to the people. She has also clarified the points through which we will target the BJP.”

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