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3 May 2017

A trip to tackle BJP & end TMC infight

Mamata at the Bolpur railway station on Tuesday, en route to Malda Picture by Sekh Abubakkar 

Kousik Sen, TT, Raiganj, May 2: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee will arrive in Malda this evening on a three-day visit to Malda and South Dinajpur districts, a trip seen as her desperate bid to end factionalism in the Trinamul Congress and check the growth of the BJP. 
"Trinamul lost three Assembly seats to the Left Front in the 2016 polls because of factionalism in the ruling party. In 2011, Trinamul had won five of six Assembly seats in South Dinajpur. Even after the pathetic performance in 2016, there has been no change in the attitude of district Trinamul leaders. As panchayat polls are ahead, we expect our party chief to pass a clear message to the leaders that they have to work together and retain the zilla parishad and most of other rural bodies," said a Trinamul leader. 
The situation is similar in Malda where also Trinamul is plagued by factionalism.
Last month, the sabhadhipati of the Trinamul-run Malda zilla parishad could not get the annual budget passed because of absence of and non-cooperation by a section of party members.
"In the Assembly polls, our score was zero in Malda district. Even the BJP managed to secure a seat. We could get the independent MLA of Englishbazar on board but that does not mean differences among leaders have ended. The panchayat polls are ahead and the chief minister might warn Trinamul leaders during the visit," said a Trinamul insider in Malda.
Mamata's second concern is the rise of the BJP in both the districts.
"The BJP is steadily consolidating its base both in Malda and South Dinajpur by banking on issues like demographic pattern, lack of development in some pockets of the two districts and criminal incidents. This is obviously a cause of concern for the chief minister," an observer said.
Mamata will arrive in Malda this evening and head for Buniadpur in South Dinajpur tomorrow. She will attend the administrative review meeting of South Dinajpur district at a local school ground there and hand over assistance to people under several welfare schemes at a public meeting at the same venue.
After the meetings, the chief minister will return to Malda. On May 4, she will attend the district review meeting of Malda district.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY AVIJIT SINHA IN SILIGURI

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