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No festival leave for TMC leaders

kolkata Updated: Oct 03, 2013 10:07 IST
Ravik Bhattacharya
Ravik Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times
Trinamool Congress

Notice! No Trinamool MP or MLA can go on leave during the festive season. They will have to stay put in their respective constituencies until January.

Result: Many leaders have already scrapped their holiday plans.

Reason: Mamata Banerjee feels the move will help maintain peace during the festive season, besides scoring over rivals ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha elections.

“Mamata has given instructions that all party leaders should stay with the people throughout the festive season — Durga Puja, Eid and Christmas — among others. We must maintain peace in our localities and be with the people all the time,” MP Sultan Ahmed said.

During the party’s extended general council meeting on September 30, Mamata had warned party leaders and elected representatives not to leave their base.

The chief minister also made it clear that if any leader wanted to take time off and leave the state, permission would have to come from the party.

“I had bought tickets for a trip to South India. But I cancelled the tickets and my holiday plans after my leader’s diktat. It’s my duty to follow her instructions,” a senior party leader said.

Party leaders have already braced for the long haul, since the festive season extends till January, followed by the Lok Sabha polls.

MPs, too, do not want to take a break fearing that they could be denied poll tickets.

Mamata also wants the party to gear up its public relations activities to be in close touch with the aam aadmi. While such leaders as Partha Chatterjee, Firhad Hakim and Arup Biswas will be busy in their own Pujas, others will visit Jago Bangla (the party’s mouthpiece) stalls.

During Eid, leaders will be busy organising iftars and congregations.