Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on friday issued a powerful warning against "anti-party activities" and said TMC leaders who are up-to-date with the opposition are free to quit the ruling party in the state.
Although the TMC supremo Mamta Banerjee didnt take any name, the party leaders and other people are well cognizant that her jibe was at disgruntled leader Suvendu Adhikari, who has recently resigned from her cabinet, and some other MLAs who have spoken out against the party.
"At a party meeting held during the day, Banerjee said that if one leader quits the party, she will create a lakh more such leaders," a senior TMC leader said. Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee also spoke with Suvendu Adhikari's father and Purba Medinipur TMC chief and Kanthi MP Sisir Adhikari and asked him to rein in anti-party activities and sack the "traitors" from the party's district unit.
"Sisir da said he will look into it," the TMC leader said.
Banerjee extended her support to the farmers' agitation in North India against the new farm laws and asked the TMC's farmers' wing to stage a three-day sit-in demonstration in front of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in central Kolkata from December 8.
"Banerjee said those within the TMC need to abide by the norms and rules laid down in the party constitution and no one is above the party," the TMC leader said.
Sending a powerful message to a section of the party leaders who have been vocal against the leadership and the government, Banerjee said during the video conference with the TMC leaders that those speaking against the party are liberal to leave instead of "weakening it from inside".The rift between the TMC and Suvendu Adhikari widened on Thursday, with the party describing the rapprochement efforts as a "closed chapter" and the disgruntled leader taking pot-shots at its establishment.
During the four-hour-long party meeting which began at 2 pm on Friday, Banerjee spoke about how the TMC was built from scratch in 1998 and narrated the initial days of struggle. Chief minister Mamta Banerjee also unveiled a new outreach programme 'Bangodhwani' (voice of West Bengal) to inform people about the development work undertaken by the TMC government during the ten years of its rule in the state.
Elections to the 294-member West Bengal assembly are due in April-May 2021.