Differences have once again cropped up among leaders of the ruling Trinamul Congress in Malda district.
A meeting to formulate plans of the party for the upcoming municipal elections was held last evening at the Binoy Sarkar Atithi Awas in English Bazaar in the absence of top leader in the district and former minister Krishnendu Narayan Chowdhury.
Mr Chowdhury is also the state secretary of the party and former chairman of the English Bazaar Municipality (EBM). Mr Choudhury alleged that he was not invited to the meeting organized by the district committee of the TMC led by minister of state Sabina Yeasmin, and district president of the party Abdur Rahim Boxi, with Chandana Sarkar, the president of the youth wing and Sumala Agarwala, the administrator of the EBM.
The matter triggered a political controversy and once again hinted at differences of opinion among factions of the TMC in Malda. In the last Assembly elections in 2019, the Trinamul Congress lost in 22 of the 29 wards of the EBM, as per the votes polled in the areas.
“With the BJP coming up with unprecedented good results in 22 wards, the district leadership of the TMC is determined to restore the confidence of the people on the party. Therefore, a meeting was called at the Malda Zilla Parishad’s Binoy Sarkar Guest House with the co-ordinators of the municipal area and leaders of the ward committees. But in such an important meeting, Krishnendu Narayan Choudhury, who had been the chairman of the civic body for more than 10 years earlier, was left out and political speculations have started over his absence,” a party source said.
However, district TMC leaders said that Mr Choudhury could not attend the meeting due to his ill health, though he had been invited. Mr Chowdhury, on the other hand, claimed that he did not receive any invitation and that he was healthy enough to work in the court. “I’ll not go to a meeting like a stranger unless I am invited. The party is being organized on the juggling system. The party president of the district can’t show any proof that he invited or informed me. Of course, he is lying,” Mr Choudhury said. Mr Boxi, however, insisted that the former minister was invited to the meeting. “Krishnendu Babu could not attend the meeting due to his illness,” Mr Boxi said.
Meanwhile, the minister of state for the North Bengal Development Department, Ms Yeasmin blamed the party’s organizational weakness in the entire region for the poor show in the Assembly elections. “The meeting was to strengthen the organization before the municipal elections,” she said.
The BJP did not leave a chance to mock the Trinamul Congress and the election meeting. Parthasarathi Ghosh, the president of the BJP’s South Malda organizing district, said, “All the trouble is with division among themselves. People will turn away from the TMC for the way it has run the municipality in the last seven years,” he said.