In a significant move, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Saturday appointed party chief Mamata Banerjee's nephew and the party's youth wing chief, Abhishek Banerjee, as the party's new all-India general secretary.
This announcement confirmed speculations within the party ranks that Abhishek was going to take a more active role in national politics, while chief minister Mamata Banerjee will keep her focus on the state to ensure no anti-incumbency develops ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
The party on Saturday made a series of new organisational appointments during a meeting of the party's state leadership, convened by Mamata Banerjee.
The role of all-India general secretary was earlier held by Mamata's one-time confidante Mukul Roy and later by another confidante, Subrata Bakshi.
It was decided during the meeting that the party would focus more on increasing footsteps outside the state. One of the first targets is to strengthen the party in the neighbouring northeastern state of Tripura.
Abhishek is likely to lead the party's coordination with other regional parties in forging an opposition alliance ahead of the next Lok Sabha elections. Rajya Sabha MPs like Derek O'Brien and Sukhendu Sekhar Roy and Lok Sabha MPs like Mahua Moitra and Sudip Bandyopadhyay are likely to coordinate with Abhishek in this respect.
The party also adopted a 'one leader, one post' policy.
Abhishek, a two-time MP from Diamond Harbour, was at the centre of the BJP's target over the past three-four years, with prime minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah taking repeated jabs at him, referring to him as 'bhatija' and accused the 'bhatija' of indulging in limitless corruption.
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