Jalpaiguri: The Trinamul leadership in Jalpaiguri has decided to conduct training programmes for the party’s elected representatives who are functioning in all three tiers of the panchayat to hone their public relations skills and also to alert them so that they refrain from indulging in any act that can affect the image of the party.
Mahua Gope, the Jalpaiguri district Trinamul president, said that during the past five years, they have found that a number of elected members in panchayats and also in the two upper tiers (panchayat samiti and zilla parishad) had resorted to misbehaviour while communicating with their voters and others. The party also has reports that some of them have attended “salishi sabhas” (kangaroo courts) at local levels to resolve issues and were also named in police cases.
“We do not want a repetition of such acts. Those who have won in the rural polls this year should function in a proper manner as our national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee has underscored. That is why the training has been planned so that the representatives can have a clear idea as to what they should do,” said Gope.
The training sessions, party insiders said, are likely to commence from December 11. Experts from Calcutta will reach the district for the training that will be conducted in blocks.
“The representatives would be taught meditation so that they can focus on their work and act rationally to handle situations. The party doesn’t want these representatives to get into any undesirable activity in their day-to-day functioning that can affect the vote bank ahead of the ensuing Lok Sabha polls,” said aTrinamul functionary.
After the 2018 panchayat elections, a number of incidents where elected members resorted to highhandedness and even assaulted people had come to the notice of the party.
“This time, the candidates were chosen with care and hundreds of new faces who also have a fresh image were fielded. We want to ensure that they behave gently with people, keep patience and do not distance themselves from common people,” the party leader said.
After the elections, Trinamul leaders have also found that a section of women representatives do not work on their own.
“Instead, their husband or some other male member of the family carries out all the official work and they barely put their signatures. This practice has to change. At the training sessions, such women members would be asked to learn the nitty-gritty of her official works and work on her own,” said a source.
In course of the training, the elected representatives will also be advised as to how they should handle social media.
“They should be careful in handling the social media and avoid making disputed comments which can turn against them and the party,” a party leader, who is arranging the sessions, said.