By Saibal Gupta
Kolkata, June 4 (IANS) Amid speculation of BJP national vice-president Mukul Roy’s returning to Trinamool Congress, Mamata Banerjee’s party is meeting for the first time on Saturday after their successful stint in the assembly polls.
The two major issues that will feature is the ‘ghar-wapsi’ of the trinamool-turncoats and the party’s strategy in the crucial bypolls. The meeting is likely to be chaired by the chief minister herself.
All senior leaders, including Abhishek Banerjee and strategist Prasant Krishor are likely to attend the meeting. Some leaders said they expected the party’s top decision-making bodies to be rejigged to accommodate some new faces. However, there was no formal word on this.
Sources in the party said that the top leaders of the party are getting feelers from several turncoats — Trinamool congress leaders who joined BJP before the election — expressing their willingness to come back.
These sources also indicated that there will be no uniform policy rather the return of the leaders will be decided on a case-to-case basis.
“We will consider every aspect of the leader and also take the opinion of the local leaders before allowing the person to return under the umbrella of the party again,” a senior Trinamool Congress leader said.
Trinamool sources have also indicated that the high voltage elections have created a “trust-deficit” between these defectors and local workers, leaders said.
The party is also likely to thrash it out threadbare on a proposal mooted by party MP Abhishek Banerjee — for a one-leader-one-post formula in which leaders with ministerial berths and administrative responsibilities may be relieved of their party roles.
Apart from Mukul Roy, who has dropped broad hints indicating that his equation with Mamata Banerjee, as well as Trinamool Congress, has diluted a lot, there are several BJP leaders who have expressed their willingness to come back to the party.
Sonali Guha who left the party not getting a party ticket in the assembly election said that she had left the party out of extreme emotion and in a fit of rage, but now she has realised that she “has made a huge mistake”.
In an emotional tweet to the chief minister, the former MLA of TMC wrote, “Sekhane (BJP) nijeke maniye nite parini. Mach jemon jol chara thakte pare na, temoni ami apnake chara banchte parbo na. Didi ami khomaprathri, daya kore amake khoma kore din. Apni na khoma kore ami banchbo na (which roughly translates into — just like a fish she feels out of water in the BJP. She cannot fit in with the BJP. She cannot live without Banerjee and if her Chief Minister did not forgive her, she will perish)”.
Expressing her willingness to join the TMC again, the former deputy speaker of the assembly wrote, “Apnar aanchaler tole amake tene niye baki jibonta amake apnar snehatole thakar sujog kore din (Take me under your fold and allow me to live the rest of my life under your guidance and blessing)”.
Sarala Murmu who was allotted ticket for Habibpur assembly constituency left the party in March and joined BJP alleging that the district leadership were not allowing her to work. Though sources in the party said that she left the party because she wanted to contest from Malda South.
Murmu wrote a letter to Banerjee on Sunday expressing her willingness to join the party. However, there was no official confirmation to the letter yet from the party.
“There are many people who want to come back ,including 6 MLAs and 3 MPs.
“They had left the party when the party was in trouble and now, they want to come back. I cannot make a comment on this because there has been no policy decision on this issue.
“The party will decide the future of these people,” Trunamool Congress spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said.
Apart from the ‘Ghar-wapsi’ issue which is likely to take the centre-stage in the discussion Mamata Banerjee is also expected to throw light on the bypoll issue. Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay has resigned as Bhowanipore MLA and started his outreach in Khardah.
The party has not made any formal announcement that Banerjee would re-contest from her old Bhowanipore seat. Likewise, Covid deaths and resignation of two BJP MPs Nisith Pramanik and Jagannath Sarkar as MLAs have also thrown open five assembly seats for by-elections.
By Saibal Gupta