Honeymoon over for TMC and Kishor in Bengal?

“The party has been discussing steps to terminate the agreement with I-PAC,” said a TMC leader.
Election strategist Prashant Kishor (Photo | PTI)
Election strategist Prashant Kishor (Photo | PTI)

KOLKATA: Trinamool Congress in West Bengal has initiated discussions to terminate its agreement with poll strategist Prashant Kishor and his advocacy group I-PAC following chaos among a section of party local leaders for being denied ticket in the upcoming municipal elections.

The relationship between the ruling party and the election strategist, hired by the TMC in 2019 following party’s debacle in the Lok Sabha polls, turned sour after the candidates list for the civic elections was out on Friday. When party leader Partha Chatterjee was announcing the list, another candidate list was uploaded in the party’s social media platforms, which is said to be monitored by I-PAC since 2021 – without Mamata Banerjee’s approval.

“The party has been discussing steps to terminate the agreement with I-PAC,” said a TMC leader. The party rubbished and disapproved the list on social media platform saying there was no signature of authorised leaders. Agitations across the state broke out after many found their names in the list on the social media but missing from the list announced by Chatterjee which were sent to party districts presidents.

‘’We finalised the candidate list based on the names recommended by our MLAs as well as I-PAC. Many names recommended by Kishor’s team were axed from the final list approved by the party supremo. We were surprised to see the list on social media platforms which was not approved by the CM,’’ said the TMC leader.

Uploading of the disapproved list resulted in embarrassment for Mamata, said a source in TMC. ‘’The act was a handiwork of Kishor’s team which monitors our party’s social media platforms. I-PAC denied that they had uploaded the list. But we know what happened,’’ said the source.

The TMC had started disapproving the suggestions offered by Kishor and his team in the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) elections. Another party leader said, “His team recommended several new faces replacing our sitting councillors in the KMC polls which were turned down. We told him the TMC understands Bengal better than them and Mamata Banerjee decided to keep faith on her old soldiers in the civic polls,” said the leader.

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