The Trinamul Congress leadership made a volte-face today over a seven-member monitoring committee formed in view of the Siliguri Municipal Corporation elections. A debate had cropped up in the party after former minister and senior party leader Gautam Deb and former party president Ranjan Sarkar were left out of the panel.
Mr Deb said the party had asked them to clarify the issue. “Statements made by our party leadership have appeared in the media today. I would like to say that it is not a monitoring committee as mentioned in the media, but a monitoring group, which will mainly focus on booth related activities and some organisational work. It has not been set up for preparations for the civic body elections.
I cleared the issue on behalf of the state leadership of the party,” Mr Deb told a media conference here today. Senior party leader and state general secretary Pratul Chakraborty, district party chairman Alok Chakravarty, Darjeeling district Trinamul Congress (Plains) president Papiya Ghosh, three-party town committee president Pradip Goyal, Jayanta Kar, Dulal Dutta, and spokesperson Bedabrata Dutta are the seven members in the panel.
Taking a reversal on the recorded statements of party leaders in a press conference yesterday, Mrs Ghosh said the committee was not set up for election purposes. The party leadership, in presence of Mrs Ghosh, had said yesterday that the panel was approved by the state party leadership and that it would oversee the organisational activities of the party in all the 47 wards until the SMC elections are over.
“We cannot think of preparing for the polls without Mr Deb and Mr Sarkar. They are my guardians. The group is not meant for the elections, it has been set up to observe and monitor booth-based activities. We are authorised to take other senior leaders as special invitees in the group,” she said today.
Meanwhile, hundreds of BJP workers, some of who had left the Trinamul Congress earlier, joined the party today. Among them was a former ward councillor Jaydip Nandy, who had switched over to the BJP last year.