West Bengal polls: Discontentment grows in TMC, more leaders speak up against party top brass
Kolkata, Dec 16: Discontentment within the ruling TMC in West Bengal grew louder on Wednesday after its senior MP Sunil Mandal and Asansol civic body chief Jitendra Tiwari came out in support of disgruntled party leader Suvendu Adhikari and blamed the party for not addressing the grievances on time as a sense of drift has crept in.
Two-time Bardhaman Purba Lok Sabha MP Sunil Mandal this morning came out in support of Adhikari and criticised the party leadership for not doing enough in controlling the infighting and corruption within it.
"Suvendu Adhikari is a good leader and has a strong mass base. It will adversely impact TMC in polls if he deserts it ... There is a drift in the party," he said.
"There are a lot of problems in the party and the leadership has failed to address it. The party leadership is saying old-timers and newcomers have to work together, but nothing has happened in this regard," the MP said.
Speculations are rife that Mandal is likely to meet Adhikari this afternoon.
Aseked about it, Mandal merely said he has known Adhikari for a long time.
Posters of the two leaders have come up in Mandal''s constituency with an appeal to join the TMC heavyweight.
Meanwhile, Tiwari, who had recently slammed the state government for depriving the industrial town of Asansol of central funds for political reasons, this afternoon lauded Adhikari as the second most important mass leader after TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee.
Tiwari while addressing a rally fuelled speculations by saying this might be his last address as Paschim Bardhaman district party unit chief.
"Whoever is saying anything or expressing his grievances about the party(TMC) are being asked to leave it. Suvendu Adhikari is the second most important mass leader after party supremo Mamata Banerjee. But he too had grievances. When I expressed my problems, I was told to join BJP by municipal affairs minister Firhad Hakim," he said.
"Who is Hakim to tell me whether I should leave the party or not? ... This might be my last address as district unit chief. Even if I quit my post, I will continue to work for the people," he said.
After expressing his grievances against the state government on Monday, Tewari skipped a rapprochement meeting convened by the leadership to iron out differences between him and Hakim.
According to sources, Tiwari is likely to meet Banerjee in Kolkata on December 18.
The development comes amid increasing dissent within the Trinamool Congress as West Bengal goes to poll early next year. Party heavyweight Suvendu Adhikari gave up cabinet portfolios amid speculations are rife over him joining BJP this month. Forest Minister Rajib Banerjee has also openly criticised a section of the party''s leadership.