After returning to power in Bengal for the third time in a row, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is now seriously working on the agenda of giving national party status to the Trinamool Congress. Under this, TMC is moving fast in making its political presence outside Bengal only in small states. Ipac, the company of famous election strategist Prashant Kishor, is trying to take this political ambition of Trinamool to the ground. Small states like Goa, Meghalaya, Tripura and Manipur have been chosen by Trinamool as their political laboratory for this goal, where IPAC teams are sensing the political mood of these states.
On Monday, Mamata got a shot in arm with senior leader from congress, Priyanka Gandhi loyalist and former legislator from UP, Lalitesh Pati Tripathi joining her. Lalitesh joined TMC on Monday in the presence of Bengal chief minister Mamta Banerjee. His father and a former UP Minister Rajesh Pati Tripathi too joined TMC with him.
Lalitesh, vice-president in UP congress and loyalist of Gandhi family had resigned from party early this month. He belonged to the family of congress stalwart Kamlapati Tripathi and had been in the team of advisors to Priyanka Gandhi in UP.
In this exercise of spreading the political wings of Trinamool, during the ground survey of IPAC, efforts are being made to gauge the pulse of the leaders and MLAs of other parties in these states. In the last two-three months, the Trinamool Congress had indicated its intention by breaking other parties, especially some big leaders of the Congress.
According to sources, during the survey in its sequel, a possible list of such state level leaders and MLAs is being prepared who can be associated with TMC before the elections. In Meghalaya, Congress had recently halted efforts to join the TMC by revolting about a dozen MLAs along with former Chief Minister Mukul Sangma. But it is said that TMC has still not given up its efforts to woo Sangma.
Sushmita was also made in-charge of Tripura by the party. TMC is now trying to reverse the 2023 elections here. Similarly, breaking former Congress CM Luizino Felario in Goa, TMC made him the national vice-president of the party a day earlier. Elections are to be held in Goa in February-March. TMC is also focusing on registering its presence here as a state-level party. Mamata Banerjee’s proposed two-day visit to Goa next week is a clear indication of this serious effort of TMC.
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In fact, due to the organizational challenges of the Congress and the ambiguity about the leadership, the claim of the face of the opposition leadership in the 2024 elections is still open. After the third victory in Bengal, the way non-Congress parties of the opposition camp have read the ballads in the glory of Didi’s militant leadership, the TMC feels that if the opportunity arises, Mamata may also join the competition for the opposition leadership. In the meantime, if TMC gets the status of a national party, then it will increase the stature of Didi.
That is why the Trinamool Congress is making serious efforts to make a respectable presence in these small states. Achieving this target for TMC is not impossible either. It has 22 MPs in the Lok Sabha from Bengal. In such a situation, even if six percent votes are received in the assembly elections of three states, then it will get the status of a national party. This is the reason why TMC is not shying away from making a political dent in the Congress in this campaign. If a party gets more than six percent of the votes in four states, it becomes entitled to the status of a national party.