Few hours after All-India General Secretary of Trinamool Congress (TMC) Abhishek Banerjee indicated to step down from the organisational responsibilities, West Bengal Chief Minister and party supremo Mamata Banerjee on Friday called for an emergency meeting at her Kalighat residence on Saturday wherein all the senior leaders including Abhishek Banerjee, Partha Chatterjee and Subrata Bakshi have been asked to present.
Insiders in the party are of the opinion that the sudden meeting convened by the Chief Minister is not only a message of truce being sent to the second-in-command of the party but also a desperate attempt to solve the differences within the party.
The senior-junior rift in the party has reached to an extent where Abhishek Banerjee has expressed his wish to step down from the party responsibility.
According to sources in the party several issues including the ‘One Man One Post’ theory recently introduced by Abhishek Banerjee and the confusion regarding the list of candidates of the party in the upcoming Municipal election will come up for discussion.
“Abhishek Banerjee is the younger generation and he wants to manage the party in a much professional and democratic manner. This is definitely not liked by the seniors of the party who have been enjoying undue privileges,” a young leader close to Abhishek Banerjee told IANS on the condition of anonymity.
The differences in the party started cropping up during the Kolkata Municipal Corporation when chief minister Mamata Banerjee changed several names without following the ‘One Man One Post’ theory.
Firhad Hakim being the Minister of Transport was made the Mayor flouting the norms. Though Abhishek Banerjee has strongly backed the idea, senior members like Firhad Hakim openly said that the Trinamool Congress supremo does not support the idea.
The controversy became even more complicated when a poster supporting ‘One Man One Post’ was seen on the cover of the Twitter handle of Minister of State for Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Chandrima Bhattacharya.
Bhattacharya who is considered to be close to Mamata Banerjee said that her Twitter handle is controlled by I-Pac which the organisation immediately denied.
The differences became even more prominent during the publication of the list of candidates by the party where two lists surfaced – one signed by party Secretary General Partha Chatterjee and State Secretary Subrata Bakshi and another list prepared by I-Pac had the support and patronage of Abhishek.
Though Mamata Banerjee said that the list prepared by Chatterjee and Bakshi was the official list but in many municipalities, Abhishek overruled the chief minister’s decision and gave nominations to the candidates approved by Prashant Kishore and I-Pac.
The situation went to that extent when both Chatterjee and Bakshi told the chief minister that it would be better for them to get distanced from active politics than taking instructions from Camac Street (The office of Abhishek Banerjee). Chief minister Mamata Banerjee was also very unhappy with the situation and gave indications to terminate ties with I-Pac.
In a situation like this, the meeting is likely to be very important and will decide the future course of action. All eyes will be on the meeting at Kalighat on Saturday.