Mamta Banerjee Facing Dissent Within Her Own Party

March 31, 2010

Mamta Banerjee, as many of her allies know, is very unpredictable. Initially in the Congress, she separated and went on her own lonely path. However, given the over-bearing presence of the Left Front as the long ruling leader of West Bengal, she had to ally with the Congress to increase her resources and be able to bring more force to her opposition. Over a period of years, the Left Front was losing support in the rural areas, with this support going to Mamta's Trinamool Congress. However, it was in the agitations against the land acquisition policies of the Left Front that she finally reached her peak level of support.

She went hammer and tongs against the efforts by the CPM (pushed primarily by the Chief Minister with the half-hearted support of many in the party) to acquire land for setting up industrial complexes as well as the more famous Tata Nano factory (and finally went on a hunger strike on behalf of the protesting farmers whose land was acquired). She was finally able to get the companies to reverse their decisions, and also essentially get the Left Front Government to reverse its policy of trying to setup industrial complexes by acquiring land from farmers. In all this, she took the support of a wide variety of forces and people, including (as is widely speculated) of the Naxalities. They are also supposed to have worked in her favor during the various levels of elections to get her more support.

However, with an increased support base, she is now a prominent minister in the UPA Government, influencing the policies of the Congress led Government. This also means that she has to now be a party to the policies of the Government, including the operations that the Government has launched against the Naxalites. These are coordinated operations against the Red Force in multiple states of the country, with the Government supporting this through the supply of central paramilitary forces. And this is where Mamta has started facing problems. She got support from the Naxals and they are now demanding their pound of flesh, including her own MP's who are sympathizers of the ultra-left forces.

So, you have one of her more popular MP's, Kabir Suman turning out to be more maverick than Mamta, expecting that Mamta will push the Government against its anti-Naxal operations, and also protesting against the local actions of the leaders of the party. It was hard to imagine Mamta being embarrassed by something, but she is apparently not very happy about the actions of this popular MP. And now he is threatening to resign from the party (link to article):

In television interviews late on Monday night and on Tuesday, Suman said he had decided to quit Trinamool as it was not possible to stay in the party while retaining his self-respect. He indicated that the immediate reason for his sending the SMS to Mamata and other senior Trinamool leaders was his disapproval of the way vested interests were trying to grab a playground in Sonarpur.

Observers said it would be a blessing in disguise for Trinamool if Suman decided to quit voluntarily. The Sonarpur incident could have been the trigger, but for the past few months the maverick MP had been vocal against his own party, particularly Trinamool not opposing Operation Green Hunt against the Maoists. When Suman composed a song eulogising People's Committee against Police Atrocities leader Chhatradhar Mahato, it was embarrassing for Trinamool.

Ashish is a blogger who got bit by the blogging charm a few months back, and it has hit him good. He is able to express himself through his blogs. Currently working with a software manufacturing company in NCR, India. Did a BE and then an MBA and has been working for around 12 years now. Is pretty passionate about current affairs, but did not have a vehicle to express his opinions till now. I primarily blog at Indian Political Blog, also write about Delhi, Books and movies, and Photos 1 & 2
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Mamta Banerjee Facing Dissent Within Her Own Party


Author: Ashish


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