A 'New And Reformed TMC'? Posters Come Up In South Kolkata Bearing Photographs Of Abhishek Banerjee Only
The posters have triggered speculation as none of the posters bore Mamata Banerjee's photographs.
Posters claiming that a 'new and reformed TMC will come into being in six months', bearing photographs of party general secretary Abhishek Banerjee but not of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, have been put up in various parts of Kolkata.
The posters have triggered speculation as none of the posters bore Mamata Banerjee's photographs, which has seldom been the case in TMC posters since the party's inception in 1998.
Interestingly, the posters were put up mostly in south Kolkata's Hazra and Kalighat areas, both near the TMC supremo's residence in Bhowanipore. According to Hindustan Times, some posters are seen within 100 metres of Mamata Banerjee’s residence at Kalighat.
Although most party leaders remained tight-lipped over the development, TMC state secretary general Kunal Ghosh, who is considered close to Abhishek Banerjee, said there was nothing wrong with the posters.
"Time and again, Abhishek Banerjee has said that we need to learn and improve ourselves. We need to fulfil the aspirations of the masses. So maybe some over-enthusiastic party workers put up posters with his quotes issued in the past," Ghosh said.
The posters have come up at a time when West Bengal has been in the news a lot over the past few weeks on account of the arrest of senior minister and close Mamata Banerjee aide Partha Chatterjee, the discovery of vast mounds of currency and valuables from the apartments of his close lady associate, and then the arrest of Trinamool strongman Anubrata Mandal.
While Mamata Banerjee has tried to separate herself from the recent events, TMC insiders reportedly believe that the arrest of senior leaders Chatterjee and Mondal will have far-reaching consequences within the party as it will further cement the young brigade's grip on the organisation.
According to HT, Abhishek Banerjee has addressed party workers several times since 21 July saying he would get rid of corrupt leaders in six months. This 'six month' target was seen in the posters too that said, "a new Trinamool will surface, the way common people want."
It is also reported that he has held closed-door meetings with district-level office bearers and told them that nomination for the 2023 panchayat polls would be given only to people with a clean image.
It should be noted that in the 2020 Bihar assembly elections, when RJD's Tejashwi Yadav wanted to campaign without the baggage of the 'jungle raj', he too had adopted a similar approach and dropped images of his parents, Lalu Yadav and Rabri Devi from posters.
It is speculated that Abhishek Banerjee is trying to get rid of 'corrupt Trinamool' tag by dropping image of Mamata Banerjee. The irony however is that Abhishek Banerjee and his wife Rujira Banerjee have themselves been questioned the CBI and ED in the coal smuggling case several times.
Kunal Ghosh tried to dismiss the speculations by saying, "The hoardings are sending the message that a refined TMC is emerging. If Mamata Banerjee sends a message, you will see similar hoardings with her name on them."
Reacting to the development, state Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said these posters were the fallout of an inner-party struggle with the TMC.
"For last one year, an inner-party struggle within the TMC has been out in the open. But whether it's for good or bad, there is no harm in accepting the truth that Mamata Banerjee is still and will remain the driving force behind the TMC," he said.
(With inputs from PTI)
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