Lok Sabha Election

Trinamool drops the Congress from its logo

Photo: Facebook/@AITCofficial  

Two decades after starting out as a splinter group of the Congress, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress has quietly dropped the C-tag from its logo, banners, posters and all communication material.

West Bengal’s ruling party from now on will just be called Trinamool.

The move comes just ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election in which the party is hoping to be a key player in the Opposition camp.

The party, however, will continue to be registered as the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) with the Election Commission as it was recognised as a national party in September 2016.

But in all other spheres, the party would be known as just Trinamool. The official Facebook pages of the party, Mamata Banerjee, Lok Sabha MP and her nephew, Abhishek Banerjee, and Derek O Brien, Trinamool’s leader in the Rajya Sabha, already reflect the change in name.

“It’s been 21 years since we became a separate entity and everyone in Bengal calls us Trinamool,” a senior party functionary explained the logic behind the rebranding exercise.

When it all began

Ms. Banerjee started the Trinamool Congress in January 1998 after breaking up with the Congress for being ‘soft’ on the CPI (M), then the ruling party in the State.

Though she was a Cabinet Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government at the Centre in 1999, the party’s turning point came after its popular agitation against land acquisition by the then Left Front government in Singur (2006) for a car factory and in Nandigram (2007) for a petro-chemical complex.

The big political success, however, came during the 2009 Lok Sabha poll after it tied up with the Congress party. Trinamool won 19 Lok Sabha seats, while the Congress won six .

Since then the Trinamool has not only trumped the Left Front but has emerged as the most powerful political force, twice winning the Assembly election (2011 and 2016) and several panchayat elections.

During the 2011 Assembly poll, Ms. Banerjee allied with the Congress, which helped her to a landslide victory but a year later, the two parties fell out over allowing Foreign Direct Investment in multi-brand retail.

“If you hear the campaign jingle of the BJP, they have referred to us 54 times. That shows the importance of the party,” said the Trinamool leader, while acknowledging the growing challenge from the BJP.

Apart from playing the big brother’s role in Bengal, a State with 42 Lok Sabha seats, Trinamool is looking to expand in neighbouring States like Assam and Jharkhand where the Congress still has a strong presence. That explains why the party wants a completely separate identity from the Congress, as Trinamool will be fielding Lok Sabha candidates in Jharkhand as well as Assam.

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 10:02:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/trinamool-drops-the-congress-from-its-logo/article26611880.ece

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