Trinamul national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee on Sunday sent out a strong message against dissent by not visiting the house of the party’s Islampur MLA Abdul Karim Choudhury a miss.
Abhishek was in Islampur on Sunday to attend a public meeting with president of the party’s district committee Kanaiala Agarawal and state minister Ghulam Rabbani, while Choudhury waited for the leader at his residence with carpets laid out. Choudhury’s home was 1km away from the venue of Abhishek’s meeting.
Choudhury said he did not attend the public meeting as he was invited only over the phone from Abhishek’s office.
“A few days back, somebody from Abhishek’s office called me over the phone and asked me to be present at the public meeting. I am an MLA for 11 terms and being a senior leader of the party, I have some dignity. If anybody asks me to attend a meeting over the phone, it is not possible to follow it,” said Choudhury.
The MLA claimed that police had barricaded the entrance to his residence on Saturday and talked about the possibility of Abhishek’s visit to his home. When Abhishek didn’t, rge MLA said: “I feel insulted. From now, I will remain in the party as a dissenting leader.”
However, many believe that Abhishek was trying to send a message against dissent ahead of the rural polls.
A month back Choudhury announced he would select the candidates for panchayat election in Islampur block and that the candidates would contest as Independents if Mamata Banerjee failed to approve the list.
Abhishek on the other hand is trying to select candidates by consensus and has started mass contact events on this across the state.
“Abhishek is probably trying to send a message against such open dissent and the I-larger-than- the-party attitude of senior leaders by not meeting Choudhury at his home on Sunday,” said an observer.