Kolkata, Jun 5 (PTI) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday warned a section of the party leaders against pursuing politics and indulging in corruption in distribution of relief materials to cyclone Amphan affected people and said the party wouldn't stand by those found guilty.
Sending out a strong message to some TMC leaders who have been speaking against the leadership and the government, Banerjee during a video conference meeting with the party leaders, said those who are 'speaking against the party are free to leave rather than weakening it from inside.' According to the TMC sources, Banerjee asked party leaders to start the block-level campaign keeping in mind the 2021 state elections against the 'fake news' spread by the saffron camp.
'Our party supremo has warned us against getting involved in corruption in distributing relief and has told us not to see political colour while helping the affected people. She has said that if anyone is found guilty, the party would not be standing by him,' a senior TMC leader said.
During the video conferencing on late Friday evening, first such interaction with the district leadership, senior party office bearers and MPs since the May 20 super cyclone, Banerjee warned party leaders from Kolkata against opposing the party line and asked them to leave if they are uncomfortable.
'Instead of working at the ground level, some people are making comments against the party. Those who are commenting against the party are free to leave the party,' a senior TMC leader quoted Banerjee as saying.
According to the TMC sources, although Banerjee didn't drop any name, it was quite apparent that she was pointing at senior party leader and minister Sadhan Pande, who has been speaking against the party and the government over the handling of cyclone Amphan.
The Trinamool Congress leadership had last week cautioned Pande and asked him not to publicly express views against the party, days after he blamed the TMC-run Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) for 'lack of planning' in dealing with cyclone Amphan that killed 98 and left trail of destruction in Bengal.
The infighting within the ruling TMC over response to the rampaging cyclone was out in the open last week after Pande hit out at KMC for failing to deal with the crisis effectively.
Alleging that BJP is disseminating fake news to raise accusing fingers at the state government, Banerjee asked party leaders to counter the saffron party's 'spread of fake news' at the block level.
'Mamatadi, during the meeting, has told us to counter the fake news campaign of BJP. We have asked to reach out to the block level and put up the corrective,' the TMC leader said.
'We have been asked to reach out to the masses, with the various pro-people policies of the government and about the step-motherly attitude of the union government towards Bengal', he said.
'We were told to propagate about how centre's decision to send back migrant labourers all of a sudden has led to a spike in COVID cases across the state. The centre's decision of this unplanned lockdown has led to such a mess,' the TMC leader said.
Banerjee, during the meeting, made some organisational changes in the party and appointed former party MP and railway minister Dinesh Trivedi to look after the Barrackpore Lok Sabha constituency, which was won by BJP in the last Lok Sabha polls. PTI PNT SNS RHL