New Delhi: In a bid to rein in the Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) Krishnanagar MP Mohua Moitra for fuelling factionalism within the party, West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee publicly rebuked Mahua Moitra during an administrative review meeting of the Nadia district in Bengal on Thursday.
According to reports, the TMC’s Nadia district unit is marred with intra-party factionalism and infighting which had led to one faction leveling allegations against the other of corruption and illegal activities in the district. Sources close to the TMC have told this newspaper that the Nadia district has two prominent factions, one of which is led by the Krishnanagar MP, Mahua Moitra, while the other is led by Jayanta Saha, president of the TMC’s Krishnanagar organisational district. “Both of them want their full control over the Krishnanagar organisational district. While Mahua Moitra asserts her authority on the virtue of being the constituency’s MP, Jayanta Saha asserts his authority as being the organisational president. Both of them also want their full control over the Krishnanagar municipality and this has led to a huge rift between the two leaders. They do not even see face to face with each other. They have their own kitty of supporters that they flaunt while moving around the district,” a local TMC leader told this correspondent.
The deep divide and infighting within the TMC was brought to light after a public display of protests was allegedly organized by the TMC leaders led by the Mahua Moitra faction against their own organisational district president Jayanta Saha in Krishnanagar sometime last month. The Mahua Moitra camp’s TMC leaders, led by a group of women TMC workers, gathered around the Post office more (chowk) in Krishnanagar and started a demonstration alleging corruption done by Jayanta Saha in the “Bangla Abas Yojana” project and demanding an investigation against their own district president. This video had gone viral on social media after it was posted by some of these TMC workers in the protest and was also allegedly handed over to the local media by the Mahua faction.
This did not go down well with the TMC Chief Mamata Banerjee and she pulled up Mahua Moitra, during the administrative review meeting of the Nadia district on Thursday and reprimanded Moitra for engaging in and creating feud within the party and warned her to not indulge in factionalism.
During the review meeting, Banerjee said, “Mahua, let me tell you one thing clearly, I don’t want to see who is against whom and who is not. If someone does not like a person that does not mean that you will plant some people and make them protest and then put it out on YouTube and social media and give this news to some section of the media. This kind of politics can only survive for a short time; this cannot go on for long. One person cannot remain in the same post forever and when the election comes, the party will decide who will get the ticket. There should not be a difference of opinion, everyone should work together. I am saying this, because I know everything.”
Banerjee then pulled up Jayanta Saha and asked why did the fiasco take place? To which Saha replied, “A section was trying to sabotage…” The TMC chief stopped Saha midway and said, “I know who has done all this. The incident was pre-planned and I got it checked through ADG Law and Order and the CID. I have got all the information and I know everything.”
Mamata Banerjee seemed furious and was trying to rein in Mohua Moitra since, according to TMC sources, she had received adverse reports of the infighting within the TMC’s Nadia district unit which could hamper the party’s prospects in the upcoming civic polls due in the state. Sources in the TMC also suggest that the party had lost almost nine seats in the Assembly elections from the Nadia district and the bordering Assembly constituencies to the BJP due to the infighting within the TMC. Mahua Moitra was also the district president of the Nadia district till the Assembly elections, but was later removed.
The Sunday Guardian tried to reach Mahua Moitra to take an official response from her on the story, however, despite repeated efforts, all calls and messages went unanswered till the time of going to the press.
This is not the first time that Mahau Moitra has been in the news for wrong reasons. Earlier last year, she had courted controversy after she had called a group of media personnel waiting outside a venue where she was supposed to address as “two paise press”. This incident had led to a massive uproar among media personnel and a section of the media had decided to boycott her for a long time.