Days before her government celebrates its first anniversary, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has drawn up a list of dos and don’ts for party leaders to keep administration out of the sphere of their influence.
The Trinamool Congress chief’s diktat, with focus on discipline, comes when instances of strong-arm tactics have dented the party’s image.
Banerjee, who completes one year in office on Sunday, has asked party leaders to stop intervening in every matter and “abstain from visiting schools, colleges, police stations and block development offices”.
She has also directed leaders not to use party letterheads indiscriminately. What’s more, she has asked them to abide by traffic rules.
Banerjee’s statement posted on the party website on May 12 reads, “Don’t misuse your power. Stop and abide by traffic rules. Stop at red signals. When I can follow the same why can’t you?”
Party leader and Union minister of state for tourism Sultan Ahmed on Friday said, “After 34 years, a new party has come to power in Bengal with overwhelming majority. The numbers of MLAs has increased and so has the number of workers. Our leader wants the administration to function without any interference.”
Incidents such as Trinamool leaders beating up a college principal in north Bengal and a former MLA assaulting a woman professor in South 24 Parganas district earlier this year have left the party’s top bosses squirming.