Trinamool Congress (TMC) veterans and young members are engaged in a heated debate over age and the future of the party. Sougata Roy, a senior TMC leader and MP, emphasized that age should not be a barrier within the party, and the decision on the roles of seniors and the next generation rests with party supremo Mamata Banerjee. This comment was in response to Kunal Ghosh, another TMC member, who questioned whether veterans would continue in the party until they pass away due to the absence of an age restriction.
The internal exchange within the party reflects a perceived discord between party veterans loyal to Mamata Banerjee and the younger generation, who are seen as close to her nephew Abhishek. Sougata Roy stated that Mamata Banerjee is the ultimate authority in the party and determines election candidates and positions. While Abhishek Banerjee is a popular youth leader, it is Mamata Banerjee who secures votes for the party.
Highlighting a distinction with the BJP, Roy mentioned that the TMC does not have a rule preventing leaders from engaging in electoral politics after the age of 75. He dismissed the idea of introducing an age restriction within the TMC, citing the BJP’s policy of barring leaders over 75 from contesting elections or holding top positions.
Referring to a recent TMC convention, Roy noted the absence of Abhishek Banerjee’s picture on the main stage, stating that it is not necessary when there is a photo of Mamata Banerjee. Kunal Ghosh, who is closely associated with Abhishek Banerjee, countered Roy’s stance, expressing concern that veterans might continue to hold positions indefinitely, leaving little room for young leaders.
Ghosh questioned whether seniors should retain positions as MPs and MLAs for life and suggested that they pave the way for younger members. He emphasized that if young leaders do not get a chance, they will become frustrated. Veteran party MLA Madan Mitra proposed that senior members contribute to the party’s enrichment by serving on the advisory panel.
Amid reports of a power struggle between the old and new members, Ghosh claimed that there is no conflict between them and stressed the importance of both Mamata Banerjee and Abhishek Banerjee to the party. This controversy rekindles memories of a previous internal struggle within the TMC between the old guard and the young leaders.
In response to the alleged power struggle, Mamata Banerjee dissolved all national office-bearer committees two years ago, including the position of national general secretary held by her nephew Abhishek Banerjee. A new committee was subsequently formed, and Abhishek Banerjee was reinstated as the party’s national general secretary. Since then, he has gained prominence within the party and is considered the de facto number two in the state’s ruling dispensation.
(Note: This article has been edited for length and clarity. The original article was published by a syndicated feed and has not been edited by NDTV staff.)