Mahua Moitra no longer Trinamool Congress spokesperson, Kunal Ghosh makes surprise entry

Trinamool Congress on Tuesday announced its list of national and state spokespersons that includes Amit Mitra, Derek O’Brien, Dinesh Trivedi, Partha Chatterjee, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar among others. However, interestingly, Mahua Moitra – who has earned national renown with her firebrand speeches in the Parliament – is no longer among the official national spokespersons.

A few days back, at the party’s internal meeting, Mitra was made the chief of the party’s district in charge of Nadia from where she has been elected Member of Parliament. Nadia’s district president Gauri Shankar Dutta was replaced by Mitra, leading many to think that she was being given greater power in the party. After Tuesday’s development, Trinamool Congress insiders refused to admit that the move meant taking away power from Mitra, but some admitted that not having the power of an official spokesperson for an articulate person like her has a major significance.

In June 2019, the Trinamool Congress had announced a list of spokespersons – that included Mahua Moitra – as the party’s “approved national spokespersons”.  Derek O’Brien, Sudip Bandopadhyay, Saugata Roy, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Mahua Moitra and Dinesh Trivedi were made national spokespersons in the 2019 list. In the new list released on Tuesday, apart from Mahua Moitra, Sudip Bandopadhyay too is absent from the list of national spokespersons, and are not in the list of state spokespersons either.

A major surprise has been the inclusion of Kunal Ghosh as an official spokesperson of the Trinamool Congress at the state level. Ghosh had been arrested by the Bidhannagar Police commissionerate in 2013 in connection with the Saradha chit fund investigations (during the tenure of the Trinamool Congress government when he was a suspended MP of the party). Later, the case was taken over by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) under the orders of the Supreme Court. He was granted interim bail in 2016. Ghosh had been suspended by the party in 2013 for six years and for the past one year, he has reportedly become close to the party leadership.

Also, interestingly, Nusrat Jahan, has been included among the official spokespersons of the party at the state level. The Tollywood actor turned politician who won the Lok Sabha seat Basirhat in 2019 polls, won the highest number of votes among the winning Trinamool Congress candidates in the 2019 polls.

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