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TMC asks councillors to shun luxury and reach out to masses


Kolkata, Jan 03: The Trinamool Congress leadership on Friday asked party councillors to shun luxury and reach out to the masses ahead of the crucial Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) elections slated this year.

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According to the TMC sources, the party has already conducted a survey to assess its support base and penetration of the BJP in 107 municipalities of the state and that in the

Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) that will go to polls in April-May 2020.

The civic polls, in which about 60 per cent voters of the state would be eligible to take part, are being tipped as "mini assembly election" ahead of the crucial 2021 state polls.

Senior TMC leaders, including party MP and president of TMC youth wing Abhishek Banerjee, who also happens to be nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, along with poll strategist Prashant Kishor, held a closed door meet during the day with the party councillors, MLAs and MPs of KMC areas, and discussed strategy for the upcoming elections.

According to the TMC sources, during the meeting the leadership made it amply clear that the sole criteria for getting ticket will be performance of a councillor in the last five years.

"We were told that no amount of lobbying with the top leadership would help in getting ticket. Only performance will be the criteria for the party nomination. "We have been told to shun luxurious style of living, not to use costly cars, not to show off jewellery or money while meeting locals,"a TMC councillor said after the meeting.

"We have been told to shun arrogance of power and if needed reach out to cross section of people with the developmental work that we have done in the last five years," the TMC councillor said.

The TMC have been in power in KMC for consecutive two terms since 2010.

According to the TMC sources, the survey report would play a key role in adopting strategy and selection of candidates would be conducted for the municipal polls.

The Trinamool Congress leadership has asked its party councillors in Kolkata to ensure effective implementation of the "Didi ke Bolo" (tell Didi) programme in the city, which would be one of the yardstick for getting nomination in the KMC polls.

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The polls have assumed significance as the BJP has emerged as a tough challenger to the ruling Trinamool Congress, making deep inroads in the state and pushing the opposition Congress and Left Front to distant third and fourth spots respectively.

The BJP, in the Lok Sabha elections held earlier this year, bagged 18 of the 42 seats in the state, just four short of the TMC.

The TMC's tally came down from 34 in 2014 to 22 seats this time. Following the poor show, the TMC roped in Kishor and his team I-PAC to strategise ahead of the assembly elections in 2021.

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