In a three-hour-long meeting at her residence at Kalighat, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee set about putting her house in order ahead of the assembly election next year.
She ordered strong action against fence-sitters in the party, announced a plan of action called “Banga Dhwani”, put farm laws repeal on top of her agenda and briefly turned emotional and said, “Some people want me dead so the chief minister’s chair is free. But that is in the hands of god. I can’t do anything about it.”
On what could be the eve of the exit of former minister Suvendu Adhikari, his father, Sisir Adhikari, who is president of East Midnapore district and party MP, was told to take action against fence-sitters. Two block-level presidents of the party in the district – at Nandigram and Kanthi – should be removed immediately, he was told. Suvendu Adhikari is Trinamool Congress MLA from Nandigram.
Party leaders who have been maintaining links with other political camps ever since the 2019 election or are fearful of central agency probes or not willing to work for the party, Ms Banerjee reportedly said, are “welcome to go and join the party of looteras (looters).”
“For every one person who leaves the party, there are thousands of others,” she said. “The Trinamool Congress now has four generations of supporters.”
The big campaign that Ms Banerjee announced, “Banga Dhwani”, will celebrate the party’s 10 years of being in power and send out MLAs to their constituencies down to the 42,600 villages across the state.
The plan will kick in from December 6, when Trinamool Congress will observe Samhati Divas at the block level. From December 8 to 10, the head of the party’s farmers’ wing, Becharam Manna, will launch a dharna in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue. Ms Banerjee will speak at the event on December 10. There will be a sit-in demonstration in front of Coal India office in Kolkata in support of workers.
On December 7, Ms Banerjee will attend a rally at Medinipur town; the next day she will attend an administrative meeting at Raniganj, and on December 9 she will address a rally in Bongaon.
From December 15 to 17, Ms Banerjee will be in north Bengal and will hold rallies at Jalpaiguri or Alipurduar, and definitely Cooch Behar, where a senior MLA has quit Trinamool Congress and joined the BJP.
“Those who want to stay must get out on to the streets. Those who want to leave because of fear of agency are welcome to go. MLAs and MPs must reach out to the people and all must focus on the movement against the farm laws,” Ms Banerjee is reported to have said. “We will win in 2021. There is nothing to fear,” she said.