Ex-Maoist leader gets key post in TMC reshuffle

In a major reshuffle on Thursday, the Trinamool Congress inducted former Maoist leader Chhatradhar Mahato into its new 21-member State committee. Mr. Mahato’s appointment is believed to have been made with an eye on next year’s Assembly polls and to revive the party’s fortunes in Jangalmahal, where the BJP had won all seats in the 2019 LS polls.

The party also promoted young leaders such as former cricketer Laxmi Ratan Shukla and Lok Sabha MP Mahua Moitra, who have been appointed the district presidents of Howrah and Nadia respectively. The party also announced a seven-member core panel.

Mr. Mahato, who was in prison for the past 11 years, was the convener of the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA), which the police had claimed was a frontal organisation of the banned CPI(Maoist). Mr. Mahato had played a crucial role in the siege of Lalgarh by the CPI(Maoist) during the regime of the Left Front government. He was arrested by the police in September 2009 and was charged under several sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). He was released from prison in February 2019.

“It was my dream to work under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee. I will try to restore the pride of the party that has taken a beating in Jangalmahal (the forested region of south west Bengal),” Mr. Mahato told a Bengali news channel.

The reshuffle is clearly aimed at curtailing factionalism in the party. While several district presidents were removed, former Communist Party of India (Marxist) MP Ritabrata Banerjee, who was expelled from the party, was accommodated in the Trinamool Congress.

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 11:16:44 AM |

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