Recently in an interview Trinamool Congress All India General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee in a way admitted that he has differences with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The admission comes just a couple of days after Trinamool Congress supremo gave a dry ‘Thank You’ in a reply to a request by the I-PAC chief Prashant Kishor that he doesn’t want to work with Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, Tripura and Meghalaya.
The response is indicative enough after the Chief Minister’s announcement in a recent meeting with the party MPs where she said that she would look after the organisation of the party herself. Sources in the party said that the Chief Minister was not very happy with the shadow of a professional group (Read I-PAC) growing larger in the party and strongly interfering in the party’s organisational policies and internal decisions.
The differences between the party high command and I-PAC reached a flashpoint when a list of candidates for the 108 Municipalities was uploaded on the party website without the approval of the Chief Minister. Senior party leaders like Partha Chatterjee and Subrata Bakshi had to intervene and say that the list undersigned by them is the original list.
The chief minister who was waiting for the list to have a look was kept in the dark and it was uploaded. This didn’t go down well with Mamata Banerjee. Even Partha Chatterjee had to speak with the I-PAC representatives to make sure that the original list gets published,” a senior Trinamool Congress leader told IANS on condition of anonymity.
Not only that, the list prepared by I-PAC for the Kolkata Municipal Corporation was rejected and names of certain candidates were included. Senior candidates who won the assembly election and have become MLA were not considered following the ‘One man one post’ formula introduced by the party recently but Mamata Banerjee insisted that their names should be included. She even strongly pushed the name of Firhad Hakim who became the mayor of the corporation.
Party insiders are of the opinion that the growing influence of the professional group not only on the party’s organisation and internal policies but also on several departments has not gone down well with the senior party leaders and they have complained several times to the Chief Minister against it. “It is as if I-PAC is running the government in the name of Trinamool Congress. This cannot continue,” a senior Trinamool Congress leader said.
That Mamata Banerjee is also not happy with the development was manifested when she openly said that she would look after the organisation in West Bengal making it obvious that she was trying to cut to size the growing influence of I-PAC on the party’s policies and decisions.
Abhishek Banerjee who had introduced I-PAC to Mamata Benerjee after the debacle of the party in the 2019 parliamentary polls told in a recent interview that he might have differences with the Chief Minister but she is the leader of the party. Asked when Trinamool Congress is going to sever ties with Prashant Kishor and I-PAC, a senior Trinamool Congress leader said, “We need to find out what was the deal between I-PAC and the party and it will be done whatever needed”.