Five months after leaving the national stage for the hot seat in Bengal, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee wants a pan-Indian face for her party.
The chosen one is none other than her nephew, 23-year-old Abhishek Banerjee. Banerjee chose the Trinamool Congress (TMC) rally in Kolkata, held on Thursday to celebrate the victory in assembly elections, to push him to the forefront.
The son of Banerjee's eldest brother Amit Banerjee, Abhishek is computer savvy, speaks fluent English and has an MBA degree.
At the rally, Banerjee did not introduce Abhishek personally, but it was announced that he would be in charge of a new unit of the TMC, the All India Trinamool Yuva. The new wing targets educated youth across India.
“Our aim is to raise future leaders and our task lies beyond the borders of Bengal. Soon the nation will need educated young leaders and Trinamool should not find itself wanting,” Abhishek told Hindustan Times before the rally.
“We have already started our work, we are asking the youth to join us. We are also seeking bio data of young people. A nationwide campaign will soon start,” said Abhishek, hinting at a preference for those who have a college education.
The grooming of Abhishek for a bigger role began ahead of the assembly elections this year. The youth, who had never dabbled in politics, was made a member of the party’s cyber team.
According to party sources, Banerjee, who is now focusing entirely on Bengal, wants Abhishek to learn about national politics.