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HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014

After TMC rebel outburst, Trinamool to keep a hawk’s eye on leaders

Ravik Bhattacharya, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, September 30, 2013
First Published: 10:38 IST(30/9/2013) | Last Updated: 10:43 IST(30/9/2013)

The Trinamool Congress plans to keep a hawk’s eye on its MPs and leaders.

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The party will keep an eye on their movements, contacts and public statements in bid to check whether they are holding informal discussions with the Congress or indulging in antiparty activities.

The move has been prompted by the recent rebellion attempt by MPs Satabdi Roy, Tapas Pal, Kunal Ghosh at a blood donation camp organised by Sikha Mitra.

The party wants to be aware of the conduct of its MPs to thwart any anti-party activities before the Lok Sabha polls.

“We are watching. We are keeping an eye on our MPs and leaders. We are aware that the Congress is trying to incite rebellion and snatch away our MPs and rebels before the Lok Sabha polls. Therefore, we will have to be vigilant,” said a party core committee member.

“We are watching as to who is communicating with who, or making informal secret meetings with Congress leaders. We do not want a repetition of what happened recently, which disturbed the image of our party,” said a senior leader close to Mamata Banerjee. The party has taken a strong step, suspending Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh for anti party activities and forcing Satabdi and Tapas to write a letter of apology to Mamata.

However, the party is aware that dissent is still there within a section of the leaders, who are keeping in touch with the Congress.

The party is aware that recently Lok Sabha MP Somen Mitra held informal talks with the Congress in Delhi and is likely to quit the party in the near future.

The party also fears that a number of its party MPs and leaders are keeping in touch with Mitra.

Recently, Ghosh triggered a controversy by alleging that Saugata Roy and Dinesh Trivedi had had dinner with Ahmed Patel, Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary.

Trinamool Congress sources stated that the party is keeping a vigil on leaders who are informally holding talks with Mitra or the Congress leadership in Delhi. Strict vigil is also being kept on a number of MPs who are not likely to be given ticket this time.

“Mitra is in touch with other leaders and trying to woo them to join the Congress. We would want to know what is happening in the future and prepare ourselves,” said a senior leader and minister of the state cabinet.

It was on September 20 that a section of MPs raised their voice jointly against the party at a blood donation camp in North Kolkata.

However, the party was caught unawares as it had no prior knowledge of the disgruntled MPs.

Mamata, who is targeting over 30 seats in the Lok Sabha polls in Bengal (from presently 19), wants to leave no stone unturned to check rebellion within her party which will hamper her Delhi dreams of becoming a king maker and retain the railways portfolio. After Panchayat polls, the Trinamool emerged victorious in the recently held municipal polls.


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