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Poll pushes Trinamul to new address

A new party office is now on the city’s political map. Mamata Banerjee, who has been running her nascent Trinamul Congress from her Harish Chatterjee Street residence ever since it was born in January 1998, will shift to a furnished Trinamul Bhavan in Topsia on Wednesday.

Mamata herself will inaugurate the ground floor of the proposed three-storeyed building on Wednesday afternoon. Though suspended party MP Ajit Panja and state Congress functionaries are not on the list of invitees, leaders of the BJP’s Bengal unit and members of other NDA constituents will be present.

“The party will start functioning from its new office from Wednesday, since panchayat elections are round the corner,” general secretary Mukul Roy said on Tuesday. Construction of the first floor had to be completed fast, he said, to help Mamata monitor the May 11 panchayat elections from a full-fledged office. The remaining two floors will be completed over the next three months.

Party functionaries and supporters from far-flung districts across the state have already been informed of the party’s new address. “Poll nominees and district leaders being intimidated by CPM cadre in the rural belt have been asked to drop in at the party office, instead of Mamata’s residence. We don’t want her to be disturbed at home,” he said.

The party office, to be constructed on a six-cottah plot at a cost of Rs 25 lakh, will house a big conference hall, a reception room, offices of the party’s frontal organisations, a dormitory for party workers from the districts and an office for the chairperson. “The spacious conference room will allow Mamata to interact with the party’s grassroots workers from the districts,” pointed out party general secretary Gautam Bose.

Bose, who has been supervising the construction work ever since the foundation stone was laid in May last year, said a big dormitory is being planned for those coming from the remote areas. The land was donated by mayor-in-council member (health) Javed Khan, in memory of his father, K.B. Khan.

Funds for the building are being raised from three million party workers and sympathisers, under the banner of the Grassroot Welfare Trust. Industrialists or businessmen are not being approached.

The building will be painted light green, in keeping with the Trinamul symbol of grass and flowers. The party has bought a Qualis for Mamata’s use.

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