Congress always a soft target for Trinamool to rope in leaders
Kolkata, April 18 (IANS) With senior Congress leader and the party's Assam unit chief, Ripun Bora, joining the Trinamool Congress on Saturday afternoon, the grand old party has again appeared to be a soft target for the ruling party of West Bengal.
According to veteran columnist and political commentator Arundhati Mukherjee, the political culture is quite common in the Congress and the Trinamool with both having a good share of groupism and infighting.
"That is the reason why Trinamool was formed in 1998 with a group of erstwhile disgruntled Congress leaders, who were mainly opposed to the then state Congress President, late Soumen Mitra. Mamata Banerjee could, at that time, successfully fan the disgruntlement in the Congress, which, under Mitra's leadership, would never have been able to put a up a dominant fight against the ruling Left Front, especially the CPI(M)," Mukherjee said.
In 2011, when Trinamool came to power in West Bengal, Congress was Mamata Banerjee's ally against the Left Front.
"However, when the Trinamool started to expand the party's leadership soon after coming to power, it did not spare the Congress. In fact, the expansion started by roping in state Congress leaders, MLAs and MPs and later the ruling party targeted the CPI(M) and other Left Front allies in that leadership expansion drive," Mukherjee said.
And now when the Trinamool has started its national expansion drive, the Congress has again become a soft target for its leadership.
It started with the former Congress Chief Minister of Goa, Luizinho Felerio, while Bora is the latest Comgressman to join the Trinamool.
However, another senior political commentator, Nirmalya Banerjee, pointed out that the weakness of internal groupism in the Congress which is being exploited by the Trinamool is also its own weakness.
"Bengal's ruling party felt the pinch of that same weakness before the 2021 Assembly elections when a number of heavyweight Trinamool leaders, MLAs and ministers jumped the ship to the BJP. However, in politics the results matter, and after Trinamool swept the polls, a reverse migration started. But had the results not been favourable, the scenario could have been different," he said.
On Bora's exit, state Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that the Trinamool is actually benefiting the BJP by weakening the Congress.
However, Trinamool spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said that Congress leaders nationally are opting for Trinamool Congress, realising that the Congress leadership is not serious about taking on the BJP.