‘No victory rallies, no alcohol, no sound bytes...’
Trinamool Congress chief and railways minister Mamata Banerjee has outlined a list of dos and don’ts for party workers to rein in unbridled jubilation across West Bengal should the party achieve a landslide victory, as predicted by exit polls, when results are announced on Friday. Ravik Bhattacharya reports.kolkata Updated: May 12, 2011 13:40 IST
Trinamool Congress chief and railways minister Mamata Banerjee has outlined a list of dos and don’ts for party workers to rein in unbridled jubilation across West Bengal should the party achieve a landslide victory, as predicted by exit polls, when results are announced on Friday.
Party workers have been asked to show restraint and not hold victory rallies without Banerjee’s permission, not consume alcohol, and stay in their respective areas with workers.
Election surveys and exit polls unanimously predicted a clean sweep for Banerjee’s Trinamool in the state. If this happens, it will mark the end of a 34-year-long Left rule, the longest by any democratically elected Marxist government anywhere in the world.
Banerjee is keen on sending a message that discipline is not dispensable, no matter how big the victory — a few exit polls predicted two-thirds and even three-fourths majority for her party in the 294-seat assembly.
“Her directions are clear, we want the day to pass off peacefully. Our leader has specified our duties and restrictions for that day. Action will be taken against anybody who violates the directive,” said Jyotipriyo Mullick, party observer for North 24 Parganas.
Party workers have also been asked to desist from rushing to Banerjee’s residence in south Kolkata’s Kalighat area, or to television studios to give interviews, without permission.
“After the results are declared no leader should go home or rush to Kalighat. They would have to stay in their respective areas along with workers till the wee hours. This applies to candidates too,” said Mullick.
Banerjee’s office has forwarded the restrictions to all district leaders and candidates, fearing the Left might try to instigate its workers and create a negative impression in the minds of the people from the very first day.
“Workers are strictly asked not to be inebriated or show rowdy behaviour. If any of our workers get drunk and celebrate, they would attract severe action,” said a party leader.