‘The block and district leaders are at loggerheads with each other and all because of cut money.’

New Delhi: Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders are deeply worried about the deep-rooted factionalism that has taken hold of the party both at the district and booth levels, which could cost the party heavily in the coming Assembly elections, several TMC leaders told The Sunday Guardian.
TMC leaders have complained to both Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her nephew, Abhishek Banerjee, who is looking after the party’s electoral strategy, that the factionalism is working against the party at the grassroots.
Speaking to The Sunday Guardian, a senior TMC leader said that they have given multiple reports to the highest authority about factionalism and how these elements are going to act against the party in the upcoming elections.
“Every district and block in the state is mired in factionalism. There are multiple people who have their own lobbies. They are working for the betterment of themselves and not of the party. We have raised this issue at the right places, but despite that little seems to have been done to contain it,” said the TMC leader.
The TMC leader also gave examples of how factionalism is deep-rooted within the party, “For example, the TMC chairmen of several municipalities are not in good terms with their MLAs, so they are lobbying against their respective MLAs, and have stopped all the work that the MLAs have been trying to do in their constituencies, in order to show them in a bad light. While the chairman wants his man to get a ticket from the party in the Assembly elections, the MLA is lobbying for himself for the party ticket. So if the chairman’s recommended person gets the ticket, the sitting MLA will ensure his loss, and vice versa. Look at what happened in Howrah district—it was a classic case of factionalism. The chairman and the MLAs were at loggerheads, which in turn cost the party its MLAs who went to the BJP,” the TMC leader said.
Another TMC leader from North 24 Parganas, while speaking to this newspaper echoed similar sentiments. “The block and district leaders are at loggerheads with each other and all because of cut money. They are fighting with each other because some people did not give them their share of cut money, while others are fighting for positions within the party or for the party’s ticket to fight the election. This is visible all across. Worse, they are ready to even make their opponents within the party lose if the candidate of their choice is not given the ticket. Such infighting is definitely going to hurt the party and benefit the BJP,” the leader alleged.
Some TMC leaders that this correspondent spoke to also said that there is a large section of TMC leaders in every district who will vote for BJP and this because they feel they have not got their due in the party for the last ten years and have been neglected, while only a handful of leaders who were close to the elected leaders enjoyed the benefits of their party being in government.
Prashant Kishor’s I-PAC, the political strategist company that the TMC hired, has been informed about the prevailing situation in the districts. According to sources in I-PAC, Kishor held a meeting with all the outgoing councillors of the TMC earlier this month and instructed them to take everyone along till the elections are over, since their main aim according to Kishor right now would be to win the elections.
Sources in I-PAC have also said that Kishor is likely to hold a meeting with all district presidents of the TMC in Kolkata to take feedback from them. I-PAC has also posted at least two people in every district to tour the interiors and get first-hand feedback from the people, based on which the future strategy of the party is being built.