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HindustanTimes Tue,29 Jul 2014

Good show to give Trinamool MPs ticket to ride the 2014 poll express

Ravik Bhattacharya , Hindustan Times  Kolkata, September 17, 2013
First Published: 10:53 IST(17/9/2013) | Last Updated: 10:58 IST(17/9/2013)

Mamata Banerjee will conduct a rigorous performance evaluation of each of her MPs before giving them a ticket for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

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They would be assessed on the basis of five parameters - development work, MPLAD spending, popularity, role in Parliament, time devoted to the constituency and role in strengthening the party organisation as the grass root level.

The chief minister would herself do the assessment, and if they fail to satisfy her, it is unlikely that she would allow them to contest.

One of the overriding goals of the Trinamool chief is to raise her tally from 19 in the current Lok Sabha to at least 30. She believes if she can manage 30 and more seats from Bengal, she may emerge as the regional party with the highest number of seats.

Trinamool Congress also plans to put strong candidates against Congress in a bid to snatch their seats, especially in North Bengal.

“There will be a evaluation process for each standing MP, however big a party leader he is. Mamata Banerjee herself will evaluate the performance of each MP and then decide whether or not to give him or her a second chance,” said a Lok Sabha MP close to Mamata Banerjee.

The Trinamool Congress top brass has already initiated the process of short listing suitable candidates that will be forwarded to the party chief.

Party insiders told HT that Mamata is not happy with the performance of some MPs.

Recently in a meeting with all Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha MPs she had urged them to complete MPLAD schemes on time and utilise the money given to them.

The chief minister in the meeting warned those MPs who lagged behind in development work.

“Performance of the MPs will be based on their popularity, work at the grass root level, developmental work at his or her constituencies, frequency of their stay in their constituencies among others. MPs performance will also be evaluated on the basis of his conduct and role played inside the Parliament and the issues highlighted,” said a core committee member of Trinamool Congress.

Party sources said Mamata wants to have a mix of youth and experience, apart from bringing in people from various fields as candidates in the Lok Sabha polls.

Unlike the 2009 Lok Sabha polls when it had an alliance with the Congress, Mamata has decided to go it alone. She tasted success of this strategy in the panchayat polls and has even waved off a tacit hint of an alliance by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Apart from sweeping South Bengal, in the recent panchayat polls Trinamool has made significant inroads in North Bengal, which is considered as a Congress bastion.

The is hoping for gains in Raigunj, Malda Uttar, Malda Dakshin, Jangipur and others.

The Trinamool is also confident of wresting seats in Cooch Behar, Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri, where Left Front candidates were victorious.

The party also plans to snatch a number of Lok Sabha seats in Jangalmahal from the Left.

“We want strong candidates against standing Congress MPs like Gani Khan Chowdhury’s family, Deepa Das Munshi, Adhir Chowdhury and others. We are hopeful that the people of Bengal who have given us overwhelming support in the panchayat will do so in the Lok Sabha,” said a senior Rajya Sabha MP.


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