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Saturday, May 18, 2024

AAP vs TMC: Roads to NE

the TMC has just resumed its political forays into Tripura and Assam, enlisting the support of influential ex-Congress leaders like Sushmita Dev and Ripun Bora, along with some of their followers. There has as yet been no similar initiative taken in Goa. The TMC’s move follows an announcement from AAP leaders of their plans to venture into Bengal in the East and the NE states. As with the TMC contesting the Tripura civic polls, winning zero out of 320 seats, the AAP contested the Guwahati civic elections a few days back

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Off late, the two major regional parties – the Trinamool Congress and Aam Aadmi Party are locked in a battle against the ruling BJP. However, in this interesting battle, often do they find themselves unavoidably drawn into a bitter struggle to upstage each other in their quest to achieve organizational growth. Both Mamata Banerjee (TMC) and Arvind Kejriwal (AAP) spare no opportunity to attack the BJP publicly on issues ranging from the Government of India’s post-Ukraine war policies to the occasional resurgence of the Covid 19 pandemic. Despite their public show of cordiality, strains have appeared at the lower levels of their respective party organizations. TMC insiders in Kolkata admit that they cannot help treating the AAP at the lower level as a potential adversary whose activities/program pose a direct political challenge in Tripura, Assam, and other NE states. Recent steps taken by the AAP to set up a full-time functional office in Central Kolkata and launch fledgling district units among Bengal‘s sizable non-Bengali population exceeding 10 million have gone down none too well with senior TMC leaders.

The TMC enjoyed a head start over the AAP in that it launched its ‘Delhi Chalo initiative much before the AAP did. Ruling in Bengal from 2011 onwards, the TMC had tried to set up units in Meghalaya, Assam, Tripura, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh, in recent years. Mostly poaching dissident lawmakers from the Congress and smaller local parties and giving them party tickets and high posts, it enjoyed a tentative presence of sorts for some time in a few states. Almost invariably local Congress and other parties complained that the TMC had used its money power to establish its presence. It never worked among the local people anywhere, nor carried out any agitations/other noticeable party building work at any level. Over time, such allegations were validated. Most so-called ‘TMC ‘MLAs etc either rejoined their earlier parties, in the time-honoured tradition of politics in the NE states. In states like UP and elsewhere, the new ‘units’ simply withered away and fell off the radar through lack of activity. It has been no different in Goa or Tripura in 2021 and 2022. In both states, the TMC had undertaken expensive, intense political campaigns to contest the Assembly polls (Goa) and the civic polls (Tripura). Some TMC insiders suggest over Rs 60 crore were spent on the recent Tripura expedition alone. Despite much fanfare and publicity, and efforts put up by top TMC leaders like General Secretary and MP Abhishek Banerjee and Chief Minister Banerjee herself, the TMC remained winless.

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Nothing daunted, the TMC has just resumed its political forays into Tripura and Assam, enlisting the support of influential ex-Congress leaders like Sushmita Dev and Ripun Bora, along with some of their followers. There has as yet been no similar initiative taken in Goa. The TMC’s move follows an announcement from AAP leaders of their plans to venture into Bengal in the East and the NE states. As with the TMC contesting the Tripura civic polls, winning zero out of 320 seats, the AAP contested the Guwahati civic elections a few days back. Well, Kejriwal’s followers performed much better in Guwahati than Banerjee’s army of leaders and supporters had done in Tripura!

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The Hills Timeshttps://www.thehillstimes.in/
Welcome to The Hills Times, your trusted source for daily news and updates in English from the heart of Assam, India. Since our establishment in 2000, we've been dedicated to providing timely and accurate information to our readers in Diphu and Guwahati. As the first English newspaper in the then undemarcated Karbi Anglong district, we've forged a strong connection with diverse communities and age groups, earning a reputation for being a reliable source of news and insights. In addition to our print edition, we keep pace with the digital age through our website, https://thehillstimes.in, where we diligently update our readers with the latest happenings day by day. Whether it's local events, regional developments, or global news, The Hills Times strives to keep you informed with dedication and integrity. Join us in staying ahead of the curve and exploring the world through our lens.
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