In a major embarrassment for the TMC leadership, senior legislators of the party have openly voiced their grievances against Prashant Kishor who was roped in by Mamata Banerjee following BJP’s impressive performance on the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal.
The BJP’s victory on 18 of the 42 seats had sent alarm bells ringing for the TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, who decided to avail the services of poll strategist Prashant Kishor for the West Bengal state assembly elections. However, it appears that Banerjee’s decision had boomeranged as TMC leaders have taken to openly criticising Kishor. Interestingly, the rebels, who are displeased with Kishor advised unpopular reshuffle in July this year, have said that Mamata Banerjee is losing control of her party.
TMC is no longer Mamata Banerjee’s party: rebel MLAs
Senior TMC legislator Mihir Goswami from the Cooch Behar South constituency, who had renounced all his organisational responsibilities in October this year, said that he was ready to tender his resignation from the party. Writing a long post on social media, he said that he had tolerated adverse situations since 1989 but did not leave the party because of Didi (Mamata Banerjee).
Expressing his distress over not receiving a phone call from Banerjee in the last six weeks, Goswami lamented, “This is no longer Didi’s party. She is aloof. My party is no longer in the hands of my leader. That is why Didi’s men are no longer required. If you have to stay, you have to be a ‘yes man’ or else, leave.”
Speculations of Goswami joining the BJP started gaining momentum after his meeting with the BJP’s Cooch Behar Lok Sabha MP, Nisith Pramanik. “I am giving everything a deep thought,” Goswami said on Tuesday, when asked whether he would leave the TMC.
Goswami is not alone in voicing his grievances against the party. He has found support from another senior TMC leader, Jagadish Chandra Barma Basunia, the legislator from Sitai constituency in Cooch Behar. Basunia backed Goswami and questioned internal changes being made at the recommendation of Kishor and his team.
Prashant Kishor is root cause of all trouble: TMC legislator from Hariharpara
Another TMC legislator from Hariharpara, Niamot Sheikh openly questioned Kishor’s authority at a rally on Sunday. “Prashant Kishor is the root cause of all trouble. Suvendu Adhikari resurrected the party in Murshidabad. And now leaders who talk to him are facing action,” Sheikh said at the rally.
Earlier last month heavyweight TMC legislator and Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikari had openly revolted against the party leadership. Considered as the second-in-command of the TMC leadership, Adhikari has been pulling no punches in carrying out veiled attacks against the party in the election rallies that he is addressing.
There were rumours doing the rounds that Adhikari was dissatisfied with his sidelining as the profile of Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee steadily rose. However, one of the TMC MP rubbished the speculations, saying it is a false rhetoric put up by the opposition parties to sow discord within the party.
West Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh urges rebel MLAs to join the saffron party and breathe oxygen
On the other hand, West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh has claimed that the saffron party will win more than 200 seats of the total 294 in the state assembly elections.
In an exclusive interview to India Today, Ghosh said, “The BJP has been toiling hard in West Bengal for the last 3-4 years, the results of which were seen first in the panchayat elections and then in the Lok Sabha polls when the party won 18 seats. The central leadership is assessing the ground situation and telling the party where it can do better.”
However, the internecine conflict within the TMC wasn’t lost on the BJP state chief. Taking cognisance of the imminent implosion of TMC, Ghosh remarked that their legislators are feeling suffocated and are deprived of oxygen. He has urged them to join the BJP and abandon living under “corona-like” situation.
“We are roaming around with oxygen cylinders. We’ve told everyone, come join us. Breathe in the open. Why are you living in a Corona-like environment?” Dilip Ghosh said, making an open offer to the TMC leaders to join BJP.