Abhishek Banerjee

Kolkata: A section of the old guard in Bengal’s ruling TMC has taken exception to the recent attempt made by two leaders to project national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee as the heir apparent of party supremo Mamata Banerjee, and stated that the top brass does not approve of such remarks.

A veteran TMC leader said it was best to ignore such comments.

“There is no need to attach importance to such utterances. The top leadership doesn’t approve of such remarks,” a senior TMC leader, who did not wish to be named, said.

The rift over leadership in the ruling camp, which was put to rest for a short while earlier in the year, after the party supremo dissolved old committees to form new ones, reared its head again after TMC state spokesperson Kunal Ghosh raised eyebrows as he said that Abhishek, nephew of Mamata Banerjee, was expected to take over the reins of the party by 2036.

“As a soldier of the Trinamool Congress, I can say that Mamata Banerjee will be the chief minister of Bengal till 2036. And in 2036, she will act as a guardian at the ceremony where Abhishek Banerjee will be sworn in as the chief minister. Mamata Banerjee will set a precedent in India by breaking Jyoti Basu’s record as chief minister,” Ghosh said as the TMC marked one year of its third term in Bengal.

A day after, another MP Aparupa Poddar, in a similar vein, wrote on Twitter that she would want to see the Diamond Harbour MP being sworn in as the Bengal chief minister after Mamata Banerjee took oath as the country’s prime minister.

Poddar, however, deleted the tweet shortly after.

The MP, when contacted, said that she won’t be able to speak on the issue as she was attending a function in her constituency.

Lashing out at Ghosh, a senior TMC MP said that Abhishek Banerjee should ideally be asked about his opinion on the remarks made by the party spokesperson.

“Why don’t you ask Abhishek Banerjee about it? What are his views about it? We don’t attach much importance to what Kunal Ghosh is saying or writing,” he added.

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