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- Published 9.04.11
|Mamata Banerjee The Leader|
As the Trinamul Congress goes in for thebig match, who are the men (and woman) leading the charge? The Telegraph draws up the definitive list, in batting order — allowing for one or two promotions and demotions, of course!
The general secretary of the All India Trinamul Congress, a Rajya Sabha MP and the Union minister of state for shipping. The original grassroots worker beganhis career with Somen Mitra. Went withMamata when she floated the party in 1998 and has stayed on by her side. Now the engine room of the party. Will he manage the railways post-May 13?
Strength: Organisational skills
The leader of the Opposition in the Assembly. The former HR professional with Andrew Yule knows Mamata since her Chhatra Parishad days. Was elected MLA in 2001 and 2006. Behala West beckons again. Conducts the most number of party press conferences after Mamata. Most likely to say? “I won’t do anything without checking with Mamata.” Sure to get a key ministry.
Strength: Tireless general, high profile on Bengali channels
One of Mamata’s key links with the party functionaries. The seasoned MLA is contesting from Bhowanipore, Mamata’s home constituency. Will he have the privilege to be the Trinamul martyr who gives up his seat for the party boss? The door of his first-floor office in Trinamul Bhavan is always open. Tipped to get vital portfolio.
Strength: Trusted by leader, accessible to workers
The Union minister of state for health and the party’s point man in Delhi. Was in the travel business before shutting it down and joining politics. Two-time Rajya Sabha MP, with Janata Dal and then Trinamul, before defeating Tarit Topdar in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections from Barrackpore. If Mukul Roy doesn’t get railways, Trivedi should.
Strength: Urbane, strong network in Delhi
Quiz master and television host. Joined Trinamul Congress eight years ago. The face of the party on national channels. Not contesting elections, but an important cog in the backroom wheel for Mamata. His clean image, urban profile and presence on Twitter add value to a grassroots party.
Strength: At ease in party war room and corporate board room
Party chief whip in the Lok Sabha. Was one of Mamata’s aides when the party was floated in 1998. Parted ways with Trinamul but came back before the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. A rare instance of a comeback man making it to Mamata’s XII.
Strength: Solid at parliamentary procedures
Nicknamed Jal Sovan, became a councillor at 21 and went on to be elected six times. Very much Mamata’s boy in civic matters and beyond. Became MLA in 2001 then lost in 2006. This time he is contesting Behala East. Will he be MLA and mayor or minister and mayor?
Strength: Knows the ins and outs of the corporation
The legal face of Trinamul, has fought some high-profile cases on behalf of Mamata, including Rizwanur Rahman, Nandigram and Netai. The man up Mamata’s street (he is her neighbour) fought and won the 2009 elections from Serampore. Has a tendency to shoot his mouth off.
Strength: His knowledge of law
The son of Sishir Adhikary is the giant killer, having beaten Lakshman Seth in 2009. Spends most of his time in Midnapore where he is from. High mass appeal quotient.
Union minister of state for urban development and MP from Dum Dum. A lecturer in physics, is strong on facts and figures. A seasoned legislator and respected minister. Has managed to hold on to a place in the XII.
Strength: Erudite and articulate
Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar
A long-term associate of Mamata, has been with her through the lows. A doctor by profession, lost elections as councillor, MLA and MP before winning the 2009 polls from Barasat. Often seen by Mamata’s side.
Strength: The only lady on the list. Fluent in Bengali, English and Hindi
A Lok Sabha MP from Uluberia and Union minister of state for tourism. Lost the Assembly election in 2006. Known to have strong bonds with the Congress (sometimes too strong for the liking of many in the party).
Strength: Strong minority network
WATCH OUT FOR!
This 72-year-old is the new kid on the Trinamul block this election. The standout CV of poll 2011— with Amartya Sen and Manmohan Singh as teachers; was Mr Ficci for years. Takes on Asim Dasgupta for Khardah and (probably) the finance minister’s chair.
Strength: Industry relations, network and social profile
The fresh, young face of the Trinamul. At 24, is less than half the age of most other team members. This BBA/MBA nephew of Mamata has clicked into action by handling the party’s cyber strategy. This young Kalighat resident stands out for his party pedigree, his educational degrees and his smart looks. Billed to go places.
Strength: Youth and dynamism
One of her first bosses, so Mamata still has a soft spot for him
Her Man Friday in Delhi; more a shadow than a personal aide
Mamata’s multi-purpose man. Even handles the MP local area development fund
Jyotipriya “Balu” Mallick
The point of contact between the party and the Matua community. Also the chief organiser in North 24-Parganas
A late crossover from Congress. Point man while organising things in a hurry