Rattled, TMC takes battle to rival bastions

Amidst rising factional feud within the Trinamool Congress, the party is planning to go on an offensive by trying to make a dent in the opposition's stronghold ahead of the crucial panchayat elections.

The Trinamool is planning to hold a rally at Sasan in North 24-Parganas, which till date remains a CPM stronghold. "We are not allowed to enter Sasan by CPM cadres. Our party workers are not allowed to work there. To boost the organisation, we have planned Sasan Chalo Abhijan (March to Sasan) on December 16," said Food and Supply Minister Jyotipriyo Mullick .

In another move aimed at making further dent into Congress bastion in north Bengal, Trinamool chief and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has send her lieutenant Mukul Roy to North Dinajpur and Murshidabad. Roy held a rally at Raiganj — the home town of Congress MP and Mamata's bitter critic Deepa Dasmunsi — on Wednesday throwing a challenge to the Congress. On Thursday, Roy will hold a similar rally at Kandi in Murshidabad — the stronghold of Congress MP Adhir Chowdhury. "The two districts are no longer a Congress stronghold and we have gained strength in all the blocks in these districts. Come Panchayat election, we will teach Congress a lesson in these districts," said a Trinamool leader who is accompanying Roy.

Political observers and even a section of Trinamool leaders, however, say all is not well in the party that romped to a thumping victory in the Assembly elections last year. Internal party reports suggest that the CPM is slowly regaining its base, and infighting in Trinamool is helping the Marxists to gain back the trust of the people.

"At the national level, Trinamool had to face a major embarrassment after the no trust motion against UPA II flopped. Back in Bengal, the voice of resentment is brewing in the party's rank and file and even some ministers who were either dropped or transferred to less significant posts following the recent Cabinet reshuffle have started raising voice of dissent.

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