The Trinamool Congresss organisational changes seem aimed at bringing in fresh faces from the next generation in order to renew brand TMC ahead of the next round of elections.
The move also reflects a trend among regional parties where Akhilesh Yadav, has taken over the mantle from his father and founder of the Samajwadi Party, while Tejashwi Yadav has taken over from his father Laloo Prasad Yadav in leading the powerful RJD party which almost upset the apple- cart in Bihar.
Abhishek Banerjee has taken over as national General Secretary, even though the party has hardly any presence outside West Bengal, in a move where he is seen to project him as the next leader of the party.
Abhishek was also the most prominent TMC campaigner other than West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is his aunt, in the recently concluded state assembly elections.
However, Trinamool insiders aver that this should not be viewed as Parivar-waad or nepotism as its critics and opposition parties were making it out to be, but rather a bid to reward youngsters for their hard work and to groom a next line of leaders, keeping in mind the next round of general and assembly elections.
Newly appointed state General Secretary Kunal Ghosh said "inducting new faces doesn't indicate Trinamool is not giving weightage to the experience and wisdom of seasoned veterans they will be there to guide the young.
Ghosh known to be close to both Trinamool Surpremo Mamata Banerjee and her nephew Abhishek, claimed the move to induct younger faces was with an eye to project a young band of leaders before the people ahead of the Lok Sabha battle three years from now, to reach out with the development work pursued by our government and counter the false communal narrative of BJP.
Bringing in new faces is part of a strategy aimed at brand renewal. The selection of candidates for the assembly elections where many old party leaders were sent to the benches and younger people were brought in was similarly based on feedback and a pre-planned strategy, said Rajat Roy, well- known political analyst, and member of the Calcutta Research Group.
Even before the next general elections, the party will have to face elections to around 80 municipalities and four Municipal Corporations besides polls to the three-tier panchayat set up in districts.
Some TMC leaders who did not wish to be named are also speculating the trend towards promoting the youth brigade is also a prelude to Banerjee attempting to focus more on national affairs. She has already signalled that she has been reaching out to other opposition parties in her bid to take on the BJP.
Other TMC insiders said promotions to the younger brigade effected in Saturdays organisational changes were reward promotions. A top TMC leader told PTI "take the instance of Ritabrata Banerjee, ( a former CPIM MP) who has been made state General Secretary of INTTUC. He had been working for the party organization in Dooars area for past one year without any fanfare or hype. The party felt he did his job well and has rewarded him with greater responsibility.
Agreed TMC insiders who pointed out that the party had fielded young men and women in 30 per cent of the seats it contested including actor-turned candidate Saayoni Ghosh. Despite her loss at the hands of the BJP by a small margin in Asansol South, we believe in Saayoni's potential as a street fighter. The actress has been made the President of Trinamool Yuva Congress, a post vacated by Abhishek.
"From Birbaha Hansda at Jhargram to Raj Chakraborty in Barrackpore we had fielded many new faces who have potential, young faces and they vindicated our trust by winning, TMC leaders said.
Chakraborty has now been entrusted with charge of the cultural cell which is considered an important organisation within the party.
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