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Mamata asks party to unite

kolkata Updated: Apr 26, 2007 19:15 IST

Trinamool Congress and Bhumi Uchched Pratirodh Committee would not participate in any peace meeting called by the administration on Nandigram with the CPI(M) till the panchayat elections are over next year middle.

Also, from now Trinamool would kickoff its panchayat polls campaign with the Nandigram issue and complete at least 1,000 meetings in the East Midnapore district in the next six months.

Before leaving Garchakraberia in Nandigram on Wednesday night, late after the public meeting, Mamata Banerjee gave these stern instructions to the Trinamool Congress district leadership.

And her message was clear and loud, she wants her party to do well in the panchayat elections in 2008 May, to create the ground for the Lok Sabha elections due in 2009 May. And if Trinamool does well in this district – since it has established its sway among the people in the rural areas here with its new role as saviour of the farmers – Mamata wants to take a good shot in the Assembly elections soon after.

Trinamool’s performance in the elections in this district has been pathetic. In the last panchayat and municipalities polls, Trinamool won only two out of the 42 Zilla Parishads, two out of the 40 Panchayat Samities and very few gram panchayats.

Of the five municipalities in the district – Tamluk, Haldia, Contai, Egra and Panskura – Trinamool won only two (Contai and Egra) and were washed out in three. And in the last Lok Sabha elections in 2004, it lost both Tamluk and Contai parliamentary seats to the CPI(M).

“We lost touch with the people. Now we have to live up to the expectations of the people as they have started trusting us as their loyal political friends. Now is the time that we should launch continuous political movements and establish regular contacts with the people,” said Mamata.

Though, appreciating the work of Trinamool District president Sisir Adhikari and Contai MLA Suvendu Adhikari in the trouble torn areas of Nandigram, Mamata said that they should work to unite all the prominent leaders of the party here. “She is right that without a unified effort, we cannot defeat the CPI(M),” said Sisir Adhikari.

But unfortunately Trinamool House in East Midnapore is faction-ridden. All the top Trinamool leaders of the district like Akhil Giri of Ramnagar, Biplab Roychowdhury of Kolaghat, Chittaranjan Maity of Tamluk, Nanda Mishra of Panskura, Tushar Mondol of Haldia and Kablu Bhattacharya of Norghat do not see eye-to-eye with Sisir Adhikari.

"I told Mamata Banerjee that instead of telling us to sort out this problem, she should call a meeting and bring all the leaders on the talking table. Till that happens, I don’t see anything positive happening here,” rued Chittaranjan Maity.

But one thing is for sure, Trinamool will not participate in any peace meetings henceforth as Mamata believes these meetings were a ploy of the CPI(M) to enter the areas from where they have been driven out by the people.

Also Mamata said since Trinamool’s demands were not being taken into consideration by the State government, the whole exercise was a sham.

"Forget meetings across the tables. Go and hold meetings in the fields and meet the people. That will check the CPI(M) and pay off in the elections," said Mamata.