In a significant development, the Trinamul Congress has appointed Papiya Ghosh as the party’s president of the Siliguri (plains) organisational district. On the other hand, Rajya Sabha member Shanta Chhetri was appointed the party’s Darjeeling (Hills) district president. She replaces LB Rai, who has been asked to remain as the chairman of the new party committee.
Interestingly, Ms Ghosh, the daughter of former North Bengal Development Minister Rabindranath Ghosh, has replaced Ranjan Sarkar, who was appointed the party president for Siliguri twice. The TMC also appointed Aloke Chakravorty, a veteran trade union leader associated with INTUC and then INTTUC, as the chairman of the party’s Siliguri organisational district committee.
The TMC has also reshuffled its trade union leadership. Nirjal Dey from the Naxalbari tea belt was appointed the INTTUC district president. Mr Dey has replaced Arup Ratan Ghosh. According to political observers, the TMC leadership has not nominated town-based leadership traditionally. “I heard about this from several corners just now. I am in a playground observing Khela Diwas,” said Papiya Ghosh, when asked to comment.
“I am happy as the party has given me a big responsibility. All are seniors like my guardian. I will meet all of them shortly to begin working as president. There is no question on any non-cooperation from them in the interest of the party,” Ms Ghosh said, adding, “I have learnt a lot about politics from my father. I will do my job based on my experiences,” added Ms Ghosh, a resident of Bagdogra.
Ms Ghosh’s father Rabindranath Ghosh said: “I am happy with the party as it has evaluated properly and appointed my daughter as the Siliguri district party president. I congratulate her and wish her success. She has my blessings. I hope she will be able to lead the party with all senior members properly.”
On the other hand, the outgoing president Ranjan Sarkar said: “Being a party worker, I would abide by the party’s decision. I congratulate the new team, including Papiya Ghosh. I will extend full cooperation to the new team
as a party worker in the interest of the party.”
“The party had appointed me as the president for eight months. It also appointed me as the president for the second time in a critical situation in 2019. Since then, I have done my job for the party sincerely,” Mr Sarkar added. INTTUC leader Nirjal Dey, who was associated with the TMC’s trade union in the tea belt, was the district INTTUC president.
Asked to comment, Mr Dey said: “This is the first time that the party has nominated leaders from the rural belt as the district president. I am happy with the party leadership as well as Mamata Banerjee and Abhishek Banerjee. I thanked both of them,” Mr Dey said, adding, “I am also thankful to state INTTUC president Ritabrata Bandyopadhyay.”
In Malda, the TMC promoted party chairman Krishnendu Narayan Choudhury to one of the state general secretaries, while Ratua MLA Samar Mukherjee is the new chairman now. Rajya Sabha MP Mausam Noor has been replaced by Abdur Rahim Boxi, the MLA Malatipur, as the new district president of the TMC in Malda.
Among other changes in Malda, Old Malda panchayat samity sabhapati Mrinalini Maity has been made the district Mahila (women) president, while Prasenjit Das has been replaced by Chandana Sarkar, MLA Baishnabnagar, as the president of the district youth wing of the party.
“I’ll work my heart and soul out as our CM Mamata Banerjee directs me and am eager to take over the new charge,” Krishnendu Choudhury said. In South Dinajpur, the TMC appointed Ujjal Basak as the district party president. He replaces Gautam Das, who has been made the general secretary.
The Kumarganj block president of the district, Mr Basak is a school teacher and district president of the Teacher’s association. Pradipta Chakraborty was made the district women’s wing president, while Nikhil Singh Roy of Kumarganj has been made the new chairman of the party in South Dinajpur.