The Trinamool Congress’ party meeting that was scheduled on Friday to gear up for the coming Assembly elections of 2021, turned somewhat sentimental as the party chief Mamata Banerjee said before her party colleagues that some people wished for her death so that they can take over her chair (as CM).
Hearing her speaking thus, Rajya Sabha MP and general secretary of the party Subrata Bakshi started weeping. It startled many present at the meeting that took place on Friday afternoon over videoconferencing. Subrata Bakshi, one of the longest serving leader of Trinamool Congress who has been with Banerjee from her days with the Congress party, told the party chief to stop talking about anyone taking over from her. “You will be our chief forever. You will show us the way,” he said, sobbing. Many party leaders consoled Bakshi.
After the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 18 out of the 42 seats, Banerjee had expressed her wish to step down as the party chief. Right now, the challenge that she faces is being deemed as a much bigger one. Not only does she face the challenge of fighting the BJP and the anti-incumbency factor, there is internal turmoil within her own party.
The biggest of these troubles so far has been Subhendu Adhikary – who has already stepped down as minister from her cabinet and whose exit from the party now seems imminent. Adhikary – a leader who has an appeal as a mass leader – has been having differences with party MP Abhishek Banerjee, Mamata Banerjee’s nephew for years now. Adhikary is said to have confided before party insiders that he is ready to follow Mamata Banerjee’s instructions, but not directions from her nephew. Many Trinamool Congress senior leaders however, feel that Adhikary and his family members have been given enough power already, and the demands for more authority are unjustified. The arguments so far have led to a dead end.
Under this backdrop, Banerjee’s sentimental outburst has rattled many in the party. They started speculating what made her say these things.