KOLKATA: Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said she did not want to continue as West Bengal’s CM after the stunning performance of the BJP in the state, but added that the Trinamool had rejected her offer to quit in its internal meeting.
In her first press conference after the Lok Sabha poll debacle, the Trinamool supremo raised suspicion over the saffron surge in many states and claimed that “foreign powers were involved”, but offered no evidence.
“How can they win so many seats in Rajasthan, Gujarat and elsewhere? People are afraid of speaking, I am not,” she said.
One-third of the 45 ministers in Mamata’s Cabinet failed to secure leads for Trinamool’s candidates in their Assembly segments, EC data revealed.
A Trinamool MLA said the CM was upset with the BJP’s leads from her ministers’ seats and added the TMC’s poor performance was due to excesses including extortion and corruption.
“It was an open secret. The CM tried to control it, but it went out of her hands. The elected members of rural bodies lost acceptability among all sections,” the MLA added.
Further, among government employees who voted through postal ballots, over 60% supported the BJP. During his campaign, PM Modi had castigated Mamata for not giving adequate dearness allowance to employees.
Mamata revamps party after Lok Sabha shock, clips Abhishek's wings
The TMC supremo on Saturday cracked the whip against internal strife and revamped the party organisation.
Also, her nephew Abhishek Banerjee, considered number two in the party, too faced the heat, as the charges of the districts which were under him during the Lok Sabha polls were given to other leaders, as BJP gained politically there.
Abhishek was the party observer for Purulia and Bankura districts.
Now, senior leader Shubhendu Adhikari has been given the charge of those two districts where the BJP has made deep inroads.
"We have made several changes in the party organisation. The candidates who have put up good fight but has lost has been given additional responsibilities," Banerjee said after an hour-long meeting with all the candidates and senior leaders of the party.
Banerjee also attacked the leaders who switched over to the BJP and won elections saying, "When I take step against a corrupt leader and throw him out of the party, he joins another party and wins election."
The TMC chief made several changes in the party organisation in districts such as Jhargram, West Burdwan, Malda, North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur, Malda, Murshidabad Purulia, Bankura, West Midnapore and Nadia.
Banerjee also indicated that she will deal strictly with government officers who neglected the projects of the people.
Accusing the BJP of forcibly taking over TMC party offices across the state, Banerjee said she has asked the party leaders to get back those offices by Monday.
(With PTI inputs)