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MAMATA'S STRATEGISTS

Didi's dudes




The Trinamool Congress is headed by a woman but its star cast is all male, and includes a quizmaster, a pilot and leftist ideologues.

MUKUL ROY Union minister of state for shipping and Trinamool's national secretary-general
Perhaps the closest to Didi in the party hierarchy. Mukul Roy is considered to be the brain behind Trinamool's media blitz in the run-up to the polls. From negotiating the alliance formula with Congress in Delhi to taking on a belligerent Gautam Deb on black money allegations, Roy has been in the thick of things. In Trinamool circles, he is known not only to have Didi's eyes and ears but also her trust. Could be the next railway minister if Mamata becomes CM of West Bengal.


PARTHA CHATTERJEE Leader of opposition in the outgoing assembly and party's general-secretary

Trinamool's most-known face after the party leader herself. His belligerence against CPM and single-minded devotion to Mamata are the reasons why he is among her most trusted aides. To make the opposition's voice heard with just 29 MLAs in an assembly of 294 was no mean task. Yes, there were excesses - Trinamool MLAs smashed chairs and microphones in the assembly in November 2006. Partha's relentless onslaught and clever manipulation of the media earned him the epitaph of a "made-by-media" leader. He is a former Andrew Yule director and a stickler for party discipline.


PURNENDU BOSE Former Naxalite and victorious candidate from Rajarhat-Gopalpur

Expelled from Kanu Sanyal's CPI(ML) after he joined Mamata Banerjee's agitation in 2006, Purnendu Bose is the behind-the-scenes toiler in Singur and Nandigram. Considers Mamata a "true Leftist". Bose is among a troika of Naxalites - the others being Dola Sen and Pradip Banerjee - who, by some accounts, were among the main architects of the Singur and Nandigram anti-acquisition movement. In Singur, Bose first represented Krishi Jami, Jiban O Jibika Raksha Committee, an NGO working for farmers' rights. Later he took over as convenor of Singur's Krishi O Jami Raksha Committee - an apolitical body that became the rallying point for all protesters. Mamata personally nominated Bose along with Partha Chatterjee to initiate talks with the government on Singur. "I may have joined mainstream, parliamentary politics but I still believe in Leftist ideology, "he says. "Mamata Banerjee is a true Leftist. The issues she raises are pro-poor, which is why I joined the Trinamool. "


DINESH TRIVEDI Union minister of state for heath and family welfare and Barrackpore MP

Dinesh Trivedi's real strength, many believed, was in Delhi. Until he trounced CPM strongman Tarit Topdar in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. Mamata is depending on him to get NRIs to invest in Bengal. A St Xavier's alumnus with an MBA from Texas University, he chairs the parliamentary forums for ties with the US, EU, Britain, UK, France, Germany and Japan. The activist in Trivedi sometimes surprises the party. His spur-of-the-moment decision to resign from the Union cabinet in support of Anna Hazare's hunger strike is a recent example. He is a licensed pilot and on the MP's cricket team.


DEREK O'BRIEN Quizmaster and Trinamool vice president

He's India's quizmaster and Mamata's spinmeister. The person who built corporate brands is credited with taking Brand Mamata to the middle-class. O'Brien played a key role in projecting Mamata as proindustry after the debacle at Singur when Tata pulled out. It's because of him that we know that Sabeer Bhatia wants to work with Mamata or that she has written to 500 industrialists outlining her vision for Bengal's industrial revival. A former journalist, Derek's rapport with the media is well known. If CPM's flaunts its own website, Trinamool has one too. If Ganasakthi (CPM's mouthpiece) is on the net, so is Trinamool's Jago Bangla. It's because of him that several IIM-C students interned at Trinamool Bhawan.


DEBABRATA BANDYOPADHYAY Retired bureaucrat

The face of the civil society movement that has aligned itself with the movement of the Trinamool Congress. He and Mamata became close after she was heckled at the Singur BDO office. A former land commissioner, he is considered to be a walking encyclopedia on land and land revenue issues. His tips helped Mamata confront the Left Front government on land issues. Since land will remain a major issue for the new government, Bandyopadhyay will play a crucial role as Mamata's advisor.

Reader's opinion (3)

Anubhav SinhaMay 20th, 2011 at 08:49 AM

You forget Amit Mitra......

Ankita KhanMay 17th, 2011 at 10:38 AM

may mamata and her intrepid soldiers fulfill the aspirations of the state.

Satchidananda BhattacharyyaMay 17th, 2011 at 20:33 PM

Mamata is mother DURGA & will destroy allevil doers & will bring new era in Bengal.I pray for her JOY. Dr bhattacharyya

 
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