Sending out a loud and clear message that the party won’t tolerate rebellion, the Trinamool Congress on Wednesday said it was getting ready to suspend leaders who had publicly criticized the party.
Those in the firing line are former railway minister Dinesh Trivedi, Rajarhat New Town MLA Sabyasachi Dutta and Suri MLA Swapankanti Ghosh. All of them had slammed the party using the Saradha scam as the bashing point.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee will take the final call when she meets all her top lieutenants at her house in Kalighat on January 31. Interestingly, the meeting is slated a day after party general secretary Mukul Roy is scheduled to face the CBI for his alleged involvement in the multicrore-rupee chit fund scam.
“The party is not taking the views of the dissidents in the media in good humour. It is also contemplating serious action against all who expressed their personal views, which is not in line with the party. Right now, I will not be able to comment on what kind of action will follow,” Partha Chatterjee, secretary general of the Trinamool Congress, said.
“Our party chief is extremely unhappy with a few leaders who have already put one foot in the BJP camp. The party is mulling stern action against those who have been deliberately targeting the party in public. Some are even going against the party line in the Saradha case,” a senior Trinamool Congress leader close to the chief minister said.
“The party may even suspend those involved. Mamata will take the final call on the issue on Saturday,” the leader said.
The party’s disciplinary committee meeting, which was originally scheduled for January 28, has been shifted to January 31 because of Roy.
Sources said the party was aware that a section of its leaders, MPs and MLAs are in regular touch with the BJP and may soon join the saffron brigade. The party has already decided that such leaders will not be tolerated. By suspending such leaders, the party wants to send a strong message to its rank and file that rebellion will not be tolerated.
During a meeting with senior party leaders at her home in Kalighat last week, the chief minister was heard saying that those who wanted to leave the party and join the BJP were free to do so. She also said that dissenters should not stay in the party and stab it from the back.
Trivedi, Lok Sabha MP from Barrackpore, had recently said “the possibility (of joining the BJP) was very much there. A big deal of positive energy has come to surround the political space after the BJP came to power.” He also said “it was difficult” to work with Banerjee and described Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a “good friend”.
Dutta, MLA and vice-chairman of Bidhannagar (Salt Lake) municipality openly supported the CBI’s decision to summon Mukul Roy. “Personally, it is not about Roy alone. The CBI can summon anybody for questioning in connection with the Saradha scam. I am not against such a probe personally,” he told the media.
Swapankanti Ghosh, MLA from Siuri, Birbhum, too, was heard criticizing the party in the media. In a sealed letter to the chief minister, Ghosh said he would be forced to seek other avenues if his grievances were not addressed.