Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday held a meeting of the freshly reconstituted National Working Committee – the ruling Trinamool Congress’ top decision-making body.
The meeting was held at Ms Banerjee’s residence in Kolkata.
Committee members were replaced this week amid an internal rift between supporters of Abhishek Banerjee, her nephew and heir-apparent, and her loyalists. The groups clashed over the ‘one man, one post’ principle that has irked the latter since many hold multiple posts in the ruling establishment.
Principal among the items on the agenda of the new committee’s first meet was the selection of office-bearers and their designations, with all eyes focused on what post Mr Banerjee will get.
Mr Banerjee was the Trinamool Congress’ National General Secretary – a post he has held since June last year after the party’s statement win over the BJP in the Bengal Assembly election.
On Saturday all posts and the entire committee was disbanded.
The big question – will Abhishek Banerjee return to the top post after this reshuffle.
In re-constituting the National Working Committee Mamata Banerjee re-asserted her control over party affairs by packing it with veteran leaders firmly in her camp, but included Mr Banerjee.
Many saw the reshuffle as reflecting reports of friction between Ms Banerjee and her nephew, who is effectively the party’s second in command. But it has also been seen as a move by the Chief Minister to ward off a potential civil war just as she is poised to solidify her national ambitions.
Meanwhile, the political consultancy group set up by Prashant Kishor – I-PAC has been caught in the crossfire. Last week a spat erupted after party leader Chandrima Bhattacharya alleged her social media accounts had been “misused” by I-PAC – a claim promptly challenged by the group.
Sources close to I-PAC claim there is no rift with the Chief Minister.
Also on the committee’s agenda is deciding on the mayors of municipal corporations; the party swept to victory in four major towns despite talk of the internal rift.