Growing Trinamool infighting points to lack of leadership control

With various controversies such as the West Bengal School Services Commission (WBSSC) scam or the Bogtui massacre plaguing the government of Mamata Banerjee, all the more after the involvement of party leaders was exposed, infighting within the party becomes more acute and also becomes public.

The infighting is no longer confined only to the lower layer of party leaders, but also to the upper level, as senior leaders have begun to shoot each other over the division of responsibility for such irregularities.

How this internal struggle will affect Trinamool in the coming days, was a question IANS posed to a number of analysts and political observers. Almost all agreed that the control of the senior party leadership, including the party leader and Chief Minister Banerjee, over the actions and statements of the party structure at all levels is slowly eroding.

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From the recent sequence of events, it is clear that the infighting in Trinamool has reached an alarming stage. It seems clear that the horrific carnage in Bogtui village in Birbhum district which left nine people dead on March 21, 2022 was an obvious consequence of the infighting since the accused and the victims were close associates of the ruling party.

Shortly after the carnage, Trinamool Congressional District President Anubrata Mondal and local MP Asish Banerjee got into a war of words over who was patronizing Anarul Hossain, a primary defendant arrested in the context.

Again, over the past two days there have been ripples in state policy circles over the heated exchanges in the recent WBSSC recruitment irregularities scam involving the Minister of State for Trade and of Industry and former Minister of Education and Party General Secretary, Partha Chatterjee, State General Secretary and Party Spokesperson, Kunal Ghosh, and Transport Minister and Mayor of Kolkata, Firhad Hakim.

Senior political commentator and analyst Subhasish Moitra told IANS that for some time a cold war has been going on between two groups, the first consisting of old party guards, like Partha Chatterjee and Hakim, who are apparently the Mamata’s two closest confidants. Banerjee. The second group is the relatively younger section, which is believed to be close to the National General Secretary and her nephew Abhishek Banerjee.

The media describes this as a cold war between the old and the new generation of leaders. But when this cold war at the top level of leadership spills over to lower levels, these infighting often takes a violent form, he added.

“Such developments are not good for the party’s image and are a clear indication of the loosening of the party’s top leadership’s grip on the party structure,” Moitra said.

Political analyst and former University of Calcutta registrar Raja Gopal Dhar Chakraborty said the issue is simple.

“Call it a violent internal struggle at the lower level or a cold war, the root of it all is the part of the illegally collected money at the lower level. A significant percentage of the money collected illegally by the lower levels is passed on to the higher level. This happens in all political parties…there is a system of distribution through well-defined channels.

“But in Trinamool, there are multiple factions at every level. So naturally, faction leaders receiving a lesser share get frustrated with rival factions receiving a higher share. This is where the infighting become blatant and public – in bloody form at lower levels as happened in Bogtui and in the form of a war of words regarding Kunal Ghosh, Partha Chatterjee and Hakim,” Dhar Chakraborty told IANS.

Senior political journalist and author of ‘The Buddha and Boundaries’, Nirmalya Banerjee told IANS that what is happening now is nothing out of the ordinary for a political group like Trinamool.

“In my opinion, Trinamool is more an assembly of a number of influential people than a real political party, where from party constitution to policies depends on the whims and wishes of a leader. So a difference of opinion becomes glaring and public on A regular basis is quite natural In the CPI-M too, there were serious differences of opinion on political issues between the leaders, but these differences were based on issues and they only became public after several rounds of internal meetings.

“Secondly, Trinamool was formed due to the association of several disgruntled Congress leaders, whom Mamata Banerjee was able to bring under the party umbrella, using anti-IPC-M sentiment. Remember that infighting in Congress on the issue of leadership were equally blatant in West Bengal before the formation of Trinamool. The same culture continues…” Banerjee said.

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