TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee has cautioned party leaders against strongarm tactics and corruption in West Bengal panchayats, where rural poll is due next year.
Mr Banerjee, who has been holding a series of meetings with the district leaderships of Cooch Behar, North Dinajpur, Nadia, Malda, South Dinajpur, Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri districts for the past week, has also said the party is keeping a close tab on activities of representatives in the rural bodies.
He is also scheduled to hold similar meetings with the leaders of other districts in the coming days.
“Our party leader Abhishek Banerjee has clearly said that the party won’t tolerate any strongarm tactics and use of violence to win the panchayat poll. He has clearly said that if anyone violates the party’s diktat, stern action would be taken against him or her. He has also asked party leaders to shun infighting and work as a team,” a TMC leader present during the meetings told PTI.”
The meeting comes in the backdrop of a major overhaul in the party organisation last week in which heads of several district presidents rolled and several new faces were brought in with a thrust on toning up the party ahead of next year’s crucial panchayat polls.
The TMC leader said Mr Banerjee has stressed that the party is confident of winning the people’s mandate overwhelmingly due to the developmental work it has done in the last 11 years it is in power in Bengal.
“It has been communicated by Banerjee that situations like the 2018 panchayat poll must not be repeated as the party had to pay heavily for those excesses in the 2019 parliamentary poll,” the party leader said.
With majority of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal having rural and and semi-urban areas which are administered by panchayats, absolute control of the rural bodies is a must for political parties to have the upper hand on rivals in the Lok Sabha poll in 2024.
The TMC presently controls all the zilla parishads and most of the gram panchayats in the state.
Widespread violence rigging incidents and clashes with the police were reported from various parts of Bengal during the 2018 panchayat polls in the state.
The following year TMC’s tally in the Lok Sabha polls came down from 34 to 22 and opposition BJP’s tally went up from two to 18 in the state.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)