Mamata Banerjee rules her party with her whims and fancies screaming at her colleagues in public places, in front of the media and since the May 2021 win, strategist Prashant Kishor was stealing the limelight as against Mamata Banerjee's personal role in stewarding the party during a tough election.
New Delhi: The rift between pro-Mamata and her nephew Abhishek Banerjee camps continues unabated. The fiasco only shows that poll strategist Prashant Kishor's role in Trinamool Congress has been curtailed.
"Irrespective of whatever happens in local municipal elections, our problems are far deeper," a key leader said and articulated that the party chairperson Ms Banerjee has eclipsed Prashant Kishor or his organisation I-PAC's roles.
Some political observers say Mamata Banerjee's 'complex' personality has created most of the crisis. She exhibits bravado and firmness on the one hand, but throughout her career, she has always faced or suffered the problem of an inferiority complex. She is a 'victim' of a notion that others could be conspiring against her.
During P V Narasimha Rao time, she fought with Lok Sabha Speaker Shivraj Patil for allegedly giving importance to Pranab Mukherjee or Priyaranjan Das Munshi.
"All along, many Congress leaders in Bengal, including Priyaranjan Das Munshialong, and Pranab Mukherjee had personal working relations with the Left. She did not. She was impatient, but Mamata was consistent with her hatred towards the Marxists," says one analyst in North Bengal.
She used the same moral high ground, and circumstances helped her turn this into a virtue.
Perhaps she had no complaint against Tatas, but she thought Tatas had joined hands with the then CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharya. Now, in the same line, she is perhaps unable to see the rise of Abhishek and Prashant Kishor.
The Chief Minister has sidelined them and reposed faith in a team of three, comprising a former journalist Kunal Ghosh and ministers Aroop Biswas and Chandrima Bhattacharya for sharing information etc., with 'mainstream media'.
Of course, Ghosh was a party general secretary and had gone behind bars earlier over the vexed issue of Sharda chit fund scam. At one time, Ghosh, a former Rajya Sabha MP, was also considered close to Abhishek. Aroop Biswas and Ms Bhattacharya are generally seen as part of the party's 'old guard team'.
In the last few months, Abhishek Banerjee and Prashant Kishor had developed strong differences with the old guard, essentially comprising Farid Hakim, Partha Chatterjee, and a few others. On Feb 4, an "unauthorised list" of candidates for the civic polls were put on the party's official pages and social media handles which irked the old guard.
The crux of the issue lay in the fact that a line went around in party circles that since the May 2021 win, strategist Prashant Kishor was stealing the limelight as against Mamata Banerjee's personal role in stewarding the party during a tough election.
There was also an I-PAC' statement', attacking minister Chandrima Bhattacharya and the party leadership over the allegation that the firm had 'uploaded content' using her handle in favour of the "one person, one post" policy.
Of course, the drama is hardly over. While Mamata Banerjee rules her party, often with her whims and fancies screaming at her colleagues in public places and in front of the media, she also used to depend a lot on past leaders such as Mukul Roy. Even Suvendu Adhikari, now in BJP and Leader of Opposition, was her trusted lieutenant in managing organisational wings and youths in particular.
At one point, she was too complex that Mukul Roy had moved closer to Late Arun Jaitley. This had unnerved her. Subsequently, Mukul Roy joined the BJP.
After the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, she started trusting Abhishek Banerjee, presuming that he is her nephew and there would be no threat. He was made president of the TMC youth wing, and since the 2021 state assembly elections, Abhishek almost turned number two.
Earlier, Mamata banked on loyalists Partha Chatterjee, Subrata Bakshi and Hakim as well. The Abhishek-Prashant Kishor bonhomie had only aggravated the tussle against 'Didi' herself.
Several senior leaders were in pain to explain why for Trinamool, polls in Goa became more important than Manipur, where Mamata Banerjee had commanded personal respect and even had five MLAs once. Now that fear, her inferiority complex, has only grown.