মে 21, 2022

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TMC tries to reign in dissent, sacks Suvendu Adhikari loyalist, talks on with Rajib Banerjee


The Trinamool Congress (TMC) leadership on Sunday held talks with disgruntled minister Rajib Banerjee and, on the other hand, expelled a close aide of heavyweight leader Suvendu Adhikari who resigned from the cabinet last month.
In a bid to bridge differences prior to the crucial assembly polls in West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) leadership on Sunday held talks with disgruntled minister Rajib Banerjee. The party, on the other hand, expelled a close aide of heavyweight leader Suvendu Adhikari who resigned from the cabinet last month.
The TMC expelled Kanishka Panda, a leader of its East Midnapore district unit, considered close to party heavyweight Suvendu Adhikari.
A party leader said that Kanishka Panda, the general secretary of the district unit, was expelled from TMC for alleged “anti-party activities”.
“Panda made statements against Abhishek Banerjee, the president of the TMC youth wing, and even questioned the way the party was run by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee,” news agency PTI quoted the party leader as saying.
He also spoke in favour of Adhikari after the party made it clear that there would be no more reconciliation attempts with the disgruntled leader who gave up his cabinet portfolios amid speculations of switching over to the BJP, he said.
“The state leadership cannot take these activities lightly,” the leader said.
Meanwhile, Panda said that he feels “relieved” with the party’s decision as he had been under serious stress over the past few days despite “speaking the truth”.
“I diligently served this party, which threw me out after all these years of working at the grassroot-level. I remain on the side of Suvendu Adhikari. We will continue to serve the people,” he said.
In the last two weeks, Adhikari loyalists in East Midnapore, his home ground, were either removed from posts or ousted after Banerjee asked the district leadership not to tolerate anti-party activities.
Disgruntled Bengal minister meets TMC secretary-general
West Bengal forest minister Rajib Banerjee on Sunday met TMC secretary-general Partha Chatterjee and discussed future strategies of the TMC, days after airing grievance against a section of party leadership. TMC’s poll strategist Prashant Kishore was reported to be present at the meeting.
“The party secretary general had called me for a meeting, where we discussed future strategies. There may be more such meetings in the coming days and more discussions will be held,” Banerjee said after an hour-long meeting at Chatterjee’s residence.
The state forest minister said that if there is any misgiving within the party, that can certainly be resolved through dialogue.
Over the posters of Banerjee and heavyweight leader Suvendu Adhikary appearing together at various places, he said that both of them are individuals and have their own issues, and it should not be “bracketed together”.
“I do not know who have put up the posters and I do not support it, we are individuals and should not be bracketed together,” Banerjee said.
At an apolitical event on December 5, Banerjee had said that those who are working in the interest of the people and are able and hardworking are not getting due importance, while those sitting in air-conditioned chambers think that the public can be fooled are getting importance “just because they keep the people, who matter to them, in good humour.”
After attending another function at Kamarpukur on December 11, the minister had said, “I am not taking back my earlier statement I had made at an apolitical function in Kolkata. I spoke my mind”.

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