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Three party presidents claim to lead Trinamul

Imphal, June 8: There has been a free-for-all fight in the Manipur unit of the Trinamul Congress with two factions running parallel administration and threatening each other with “disciplinary action” as the party president looks on.

Though party president Kim Gangte, appointed by Mamata Banerjee when the Manipur unit was started in 2010, is yet to step down, two other “party presidents” are running their respective offices.

After a “general body” meeting held on May 26 endorsed the decision of the executive committee to elect party MLA Kh. Joykishan as the new president, another party MLA, Th. Shyamkumar Singh, has been claiming that he had been appointed the new president to replace Gangte.

Shyamkumar claimed that he was appointed by AITC general secretary Derek O’ Brien. Shyamkumar also announced dissolution of all the district units. Joykishan termed Shyamkumar’s action as “anti-party”.

The Trinamul Congress is the largest Opposition party with seven MLAs. Five of them are in the Joykishan camp while two of them are in Shyamkumar camp. Joykishan’s election is yet to get the approval of party leader Mamata Banerjee, though she had been informed of the development.

Gangte is not joining either of the two camps and has been adopting a “wait-and-watch” policy. She, however, handed over all the party’s files and documents to Joykishan, after the latter demanded them.

“I have not been informed about reported appointment of Shyamkumar or Joykishan by the high command. I am also not told by the party high command to step down from the post of president. I am watching the development,” Gangte told The Telegraph.

Joykishan yesterday reviewed the development within the party and discussed future strategies with his supporters at his Thangmeiband home in Imphal city.

The meeting re-elected all the district presidents and constituted a seven-member disciplinary action committee with Joykishan as the chairman.

“We have no knowledge of appointment of Shyamkumar as the new president. We will welcome him (Shyamkumar) if he mends ways. We will take disciplinary action if he continues with his anti-party activities. He is creating confusion in the minds of the people,” Joykishan said.

Shyamkumar is also issuing similar threats.

Gangte blamed the central leaders for the present “sorry state of affairs” within the Manipur unit. She said central leaders never paid attention to the state of affairs of the Manipur unit. After Bengal, Manipur is the only state where the party has MLAs.

Gangte admitted that it had been quite sometime since she has spoken to Banerjee. Though there had been “differences” within the party for quite sometime the development came after the debacle of the party in Manipur in the Lok Sabha election. The party had contested in two seats in Manipur and lost both.

“We convened the executive committee meeting and general body meeting to elect the new president after Gangte refused to call a meeting to discuss the party’s performance in the Lok Sabha election,” Joykishan said.


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