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Bypoll Jolt Sees Didi Rejig TMC’s Minority Cell, And Fall Back On Old Guards

The Sagardighi bypoll results which went in Congress favour seems to have jolted the West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. To keep anti-incumbency at bay during the General Elections in 2024, Didi quickly called for a meeting of senior party leaders and categorically told them that TMC lost Sagardighi seat not because of minority vote bank shift but because of the party’s “internal weakness”.  To keep the minority vote bank intact, Mamata has rejigged the party’s minority cell by appointing youth leader and MLA Mosaraf Hossain as the new president. The incumbent president MLA Haji Nurul Islam has been elevated as chairman. It may be recalled that Didi had formed a five-member committee headed by Bengali-speaking muslim leader and ex-president of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind within the TMC and a legislator Siddiqullah Chowdhury to prepare a report on the bypoll loss. Now, Chowdhury has been given the responsibility of three minority-dominated districts — Malda, Murshidabad and South Dinajpur. Interestingly, Didi’s close aide and state cabinet minister Firhad Hakim, who is an Urdu-speaking muslim, seems to have been sidelined by taking away his responsibility for the districts of Murshidabad, Howrah and Hooghly. For the panchayat election TMC has aligned with Jamiat, a grassroot organization. Many senior leaders and state cabinet ministers have been given additional responsibilities thus bringing back Mamata’s old guard rule replacing her nephew and second in command of the party Abhishek’s youth policy.