Express News Service
KOLKATA: A month after the Trinamool Congress stormed back to power in West Bengal, the party elevated Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee as its national general secretary on Saturday. The decision to appoint Abhishek, the MP from Diamond Harbour, was announced at an organisational meeting convened by Mamata, the first since the recent Assembly elections.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee withAbhishek Banerjee during TMC’s CoreCommittee meeting in Kolkata | PTIWhile it was his rising influence in the party that has been seen as one of the main reasons why several TMC leaders, including Mamata’s former trusted lieutenant Suvendu Adhikari, defected to the BJP, political analysts say Abhishek has been credited for playing a key role in the party’s thumping victory in the Assembly polls. He was also instrumental in hiring poll strategist Prashant Kishor.
Abhishek’s elevation is not only indicative of the TMC’s line of succession but also the party’s response to the BJP, which had relentlessly attacked him, branding him as “tolabaj bhaipo” (extortionist nephew), during the election campaigns. The BJP had also hit out at Mamata, accusing her of projecting her nephew as Bengal’s would be chief minister.
The party also appointed actor-turned-politician Sayani Ghosh as president of the party’s youth wing, MP Kakali Ghosh Dastidar as president of its women wing and others. TMC leader Partha Chatterjee, meanwhile, said the committee has decided one person will be allowed to hold just one post in the party. It was also decided that no minister will ride in vehicles with red beacons or hold organisational posts. The meeting was also focused on the party’s strategies for upcoming bypolls in six Assembly constituencies.