No place in TMC for those who siphon off govt funds: Mamata
Kolkata: In a stern warning to defectors who have joined BJP after the Lok Sabha elections, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee made it clear that the party has no place for those who make money from government funds disbursed for people-friendly schemes. She reiterated that those shifting to other parties after siphoning money will not be spared and will also face corruption probe.
"We are not bothered about a few corrupt and greedy leaders who are switching to some other party. They have joined the BJP as they were afraid they might face consequences for their activities," Banerjee said while addressing a meeting with councillors of municipal corporations and municipalities across the state.
Banerjee asserted that she wants to restructure her party ahead of the 2021 state Assembly elections and appealed to those who are dilly-dallying on whether to shift to the saffron party, to do so immediately.
"One person will leave and 500 more will be inducted in his or her place. We will replace corrupt and greedy workers with dedicated cadres," she reiterated.
She instructed state Municipal Affairs minister Firhad Hakim to enquire into practices where some civic body councillors have converted government properties to the name of their family members.
"Law will take its own course if somebody is found to have acquired government property through unfair means," Banerjee said.
She made it clear that the party will give election tickets only after reviewing the work of the councillors. "A party representative who works for the people will never lose an election. Some councillors are more keen on promoting activities rather than rendering services to people. Individual tickets will be handed over to councillors by the party on the basis of their work performance. The party will not give ticket to anyone who does not perform," Banerjee said.
The same formula will also be adopted while handing over tickets to candidates for the Panchayat polls. The tickets will not be handed over through district leadership.
She made it clear that the party will close its doors permanently for defectors and will allow only those old leaders who have shifted due to some misunderstanding or miscommunication, to come back.
She admitted that her party's leadership had made a few mistakes while dealing with old-timers and loyalists and assured that the lapses would be taken care of. Referring to legislator Sunil Singh, who joined the BJP on Monday, Banerjee said it was a misjudgment on the part of TMC to have given him a ticket for Noapara Assembly bypoll last year, overlooking the candidature of Manju Basu, wife of slain TMC leader Bikash Basu.
"It is time for us to learn from our mistakes and prepare ourselves for the next elections," she added. Banerjee also advised the councillors to kick off work according to their respective action plans for prevention of dengue. She urged to give special emphasis on North 24-Parganas and some pockets in Hooghly, where there have been dengue cases. She also brought out a set of instructions in the form of a letter to the councillors after the meeting.