Abhishek Banerjee, Mamata’s nephew, made all India general secretary of Trinamool Congress in a major reshuffle in the party organisation

Published : June 05, 2021 21:40 IST

Abhishek Banerjee addressing a rally at Gangarampur in South Dinajpur district, during the recent Assembly election in West Bengal. Photo: PTI

In West Bengal, in a major re-shuffle in the Trinamool Congress’ organisation structure, Abhishek Banerjee, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and Lok Sabha MP, has been elevated to the position of all-India general secretary of the party. Abhishek, who was the president of the party’s youth wing, has long been considered heir apparent to the Trinamool leadership after Mamata. For long the post of all-India general secretary was held by Subrata Bakshi, a veteran Mamata loyalist and Rajya Sabha member.

In the recently concluded Assembly election, in which the Trinamool beat all odds to roar back to power for its third consecutive term with a massive majority, it was Abhishek who spearheaded the party’s campaign alongside Mamata. Subrata Mukherjee, Panchayat and Rural Development Minister, said, “If the young are not brought to the fore, the party will get weak…. When the young prove themselves in the responsibilities they were given, then they are taken to the next step – this is the rule of the party. Abhishek worked very successfully as the youth president of the party, so he has now been given even greater responsibility.”

What has come as a bit of a surprise is that Saayoni Ghosh, an actorr who joined the Trinamool just ahead of the election, has been made the chief of the youth wing. Even Saayoni admitted that she was surprised at her appointment. “I fell from the sky when I heard it, just like the time when the C.M. nominated me to contest in the election. But this is a much bigger responsibility. I am extremely grateful to Didi [Mamata Banerjee] and Mr Abhishek Banerjee, who gave me his former post. I understand the importance of the post, and I am not going to let them down.”

In some of the other important changes, Lok Sabha MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar has been appointed president of the party’s Mahila Morcha, Purnendu Bose the president of the farmers’ wing, and film director Raj Chakraborty, another newcomer in the Trinamool, the head of the cultural cell. While Ritabrata Banerjee, formerly of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), has been made head of the state unit of the Indian National Trinamool Trade Union Congress (INTTUC), Rajya Sabha MP Dola Sen is now the all-India president of the labour wing of the party.

In the meeting where the reshuffle was announced, it was also decided that the Trinamool Congress would spread its reach and organisation outside Bengal to other States. Partha Chatterjee, Industry Minister and secretary general of the party, announced the new developments at a press conference. He said, “We will start working on strengthening our organisation in other States as well. For that purpose, the MPs – Sougata Roy, Sudip Bandopadhyay, Derek O Brien, Abhishek Banerjee – will all work in spreading Trinamool Congress’ influence in other States.”