HT, 25 May 2016, Kolkata: SILIGURI: The Trinamool Congress, which surprisingly swept the Assembly elections in the tea garden belts of North Bengal, is finding it difficult to resolve the friction between its faction-riddled trade unions who are hell-bent on showing the others in a bad light.
Tuesday morning’s incident at Ghatia Tea Garden under Nagrakata block in Jalpaiguri district is a reminder of how the party despite its spectacular victory in the Assembly elections has miserably failed to buy peace among its different trade unions.
The supporters of INTTUC at Ghatia Tea Garden have alleged that Terai Dooars Plantation Workers’ Union (TDPWU), led by newly elected MLA Sukra Munda, is creating terror in the garden.
Munda, the TMC MLA from Nagrakata, was once a popular face of Akhil Bhartiya Adivasi Vikash Parishad (ABAVP) and was the chairman of Progressive Tea Workers’ Union (PTWU) before he joined TMC.
On Monday evening, Munda, also the vice-president of Terai Dooars Plantation Workers’ Union (TDPWU), organised a victory rally at Ghatia Tea Garden. On Tuesday, a large number of workers having allegiance to the INTTUC stopped work as they accused Sukra and his supporters of throwing away INTTUC flags. The INTTUC supporters also demonstrated in the garden. Police had to intervene.
Both TDPWU and INTTUC belong to the ruling TMC but their leaders don’t see eye to eye. Sriman Yadav, local organising secretary of INTTUC, said, “Sukra Munda and his supporters are creating terror at Ghatia Tea Garden and they threw away INTTUC flags on Monday evening.”
Yadav told HT that TDPWU, under Munda’s leadership, is playing communal politics while INTTUC commands support from all communities. Yadav also said the local MLA who was once with the ABAVP is biased against the workers belonging to communities other than the Adivasis. Munda himself is an Adivasi. Refuting the allegation, he said, “Supporters of INTTUC had supported BJP and Congress in the Assembly polls. INTTUC is only trying to defame me as its leaders had worked to defeat me in the election.”