Kolkata: Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee cracked the whip on workers and leaders of her party from the erstwhile Maoist bastion of Jhargram and Purulia, at a town hall meeting on Thursday, saying that many of them had, in defiance of the central leadership, fielded candidates of their own in last month’s panchayat election.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) gained significant ground in both Jhargram and Purulia and won more than a third of the seats in these two districts. Though it trailed the TMC, the BJP won 644 of the 1,944 gram panchayat seats in Purulia and 329 of the 806 seats in Jhargram. The results showed a section of the tribal population had swung towards the BJP.
“I shall spare no one," Banerjee threatened. Leaders will have to take responsibility for the debacle, she told more than 10,000 elected representatives and all key Trinamool Congress leaders.
Party leaders in these former Maoist strongholds did not even campaign properly despite the state government having undertaken several development projects in these economically backward districts, she said.
The Trinamool chief said she will personally oversee party activities to reclaim lost ground in Jhargram. Her second-in-command, Partha Chatterjee, who is the secretary general of the Trinamool, will take responsibility for Jhargram until she is able to step in, said Banerjee. She has already removed Churamoni Mahata of Jhargram from the post of backward classes welfare minister. Some leaders of her party have become the law unto themselves, claimed Banerjee. They have strayed from the party line and have started to decide things for themselves, she alleged.