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Mamata plans 100 % rise in TMC youth, student wings before Lok Sabha polls

The Trinamool Congress chief wants youth and student wing leaders to have more coordination and reach out to their respective fraternities before the Lok Sabha polls.

kolkata Updated: Oct 27, 2018 18:16 IST
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Hindustan Times
Mamata Banerjee,Abhisek Banerjee,TMCP
Mamata Banerjee has outlined a strategy to reach out to youth and students who will comprise a sizeable chunk of voters in 2019. (HT File Photo)

In a bid to counter the rise of BJP in Bengal before Lok Sabha elections, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee wants a 100 per cent rise in membership in her party’s student and youth wings.

The combined strength of Trinamool’s student wing, Trinamool Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) and the youth wing, Trinamool Youth Congress, was around 25 lakh till June this year. The number rose to around 30 lakh in October. “We expect the figure to cross 50 lakh by March 2019,” said state food and supplies minister Jyotipriyo Mullick.

Trinamool Youth Congress is headed by the chief minister’s nephew and Lok Sabha member Abhishek Banerjee.

Mullick said Mamata Banerjee has outlined a strategy to achieve the target.

“She has said that every member of these wings should introduce at least one new face every month. They should try to go beyond the minimum target. The drive has begun. We are confident that the target will be crossed by April next year,” said Mullick.

He said the chief minister wants youth and student leaders to have more coordination and reach out to their respective fraternities before the Lok Sabha polls.

Mamata Banerjee has adopted a new strategy for TMCP in view of frequent infighting among student leaders. Although TMCP state president Jaya Dutta has been recently replaced by Trinankur Bhattacharya, Banerjee has not yet allowed formation of the new state committee. Instead, Bhattacharya has been asked to consult his predecessor and form a committee that will comprise both old and new members.

Bengal BJP leaders feel that Banerjee’s membership drive will only lead to threats to members of opposition camps.

BJP state general secretary Sayantan Basu said the drive is part of Trinamool’s old strategy. “Trinamool has always threated leaders and members of opposition parties and forced them to defect. Even people’s representatives have faced threats and framed in concocted police complaints,” Basu alleged.

Incidentally, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, the youth wing of BJP, has also gained strength over the past two years.

First Published: Oct 27, 2018 18:16 IST