The All India Trinamool Congress (Bengali: সর্বভারতীয় তৃণমূল কংগ্রেস; transl. All India Grassroots Congress; abbr. AITC) is an Indian political party that is mainly influential in the state of West Bengal.[12] It was founded by Mamata Banerjee on 1 January 1998 as a breakaway faction from the Indian National Congress and rapidly rose to prominence in the politics of West Bengal under her leadership. Presently, it is ruling the state of West Bengal beside being the third-largest party in India in terms of number of MPs just after the BJP and INC.

All India Trinamool Congress
সর্বভারতীয় তৃণমূল কংগ্রেস
AbbreviationAITC (official)
TMC (alternatives)
ChairpersonMamata Banerjee
(Chief Minister of West Bengal)
General SecretaryAbhishek Banerjee
Parliamentary ChairpersonSudip Bandyopadhyay
Lok Sabha LeaderSudip Bandyopadhyay
Rajya Sabha LeaderDerek O' Brien
FounderMamata Banerjee
Founded1 January 1998 (26 years ago) (1998-01-01)
Split fromIndian National Congress
Headquarters30B Harish Chatterjee Street, Kolkata 700026
NewspaperJago Bangla (Bengali)
Student wingTrinamool Chaatra Parishad
Youth wingAll India Trinamool Youth Congress
Women's wingTrinamool Mahila Congress
Labour wingIndian National Trinamool Trade Union Congress
Peasant's wingTrinamool Kisan Khet Majdur Congress
Ideology
Political positionCentre[8] to centre-right[9]
Colours  Green
SloganJoy Bangla
Khela Hobe (Electoral Slogan)
Ma Mati Manush (Political Slogan)
ECI StatusState Party[10]
AllianceNational Democratic Alliance (1998–2006)
United Progressive Alliance (2009–2012)
Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (2023–2024)[11]
Seats in Lok Sabha
22 / 543
Seats in Rajya Sabha
13 / 245
Seats in State Legislative Assemblies
228 / 4,036
Indian states
222 / 294
(West Bengal)
5 / 60
(Meghalaya)
Number of states and union territories in government
1 / 31
Election symbol
Party flag
Website
aitcofficial.org

The party won a historic victory in the 2011 West Bengal Legislative Assembly election by defeating the 34-year-long Left Front rule, world's longest democratically elected communist government. It has won a three-time majority in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly and has been the ruling party in West Bengal since 20 May 2011. AITC is led by Mamata Banerjee as the chairperson of the party.

History

Founding

After being a member of the Indian National Congress (INC) for over 26 years, Mamata Banerjee quit the INC and established the TMC in 1998. The official election symbol of the TMC is Jora Ghas Phul (two flowers with grass). In the 1998 Lok Sabha polls, TMC won seven seats. In the next Lok Sabha election that was held in 1999, Trinamool Congress won eight seats with BJP, thus increasing its tally by one.[13] In 2000, TMC won the Kolkata Municipal Corporation Elections.[14]

The party initially joined the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), as part of the Vajpayee government, and was initially quite successful, winning seven seats in its first election in 1998.[15][16] In the 2001 Vidhan Sabha elections, the TMC won 60 seats in alliance with the INC, becoming the principal opposition party.[17] They suffered big losses in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections[18] and the 2006 West Bengal Legislative Assembly election,[16][19] and subsequently left the NDA.

Nandigram movement

In December 2006, the people of Nandigram were given notice by Haldia Development Authority that a major portion of Nandigram would be seized and 70,000 people be evicted from their homes to make way for a chemical plant.[20] People started movement against this land acquisition and the TMC helped lead the movement. The Bhumi Uchchhed Pratirodh Committee ('Committee against Land Evictions'; BUPC) was formed to protest against the eviction. On 14 March 2007, the police opened fire and killed 14 villagers and many more went missing. Many sources claimed (and which was supported by the Central Bureau of Investigation in its report) that armed Communist Party of India (Marxist) cadres, along with police, fired on protesters in Nandigram[21] Many intellectuals protested in the streets and this incident gave birth to a new movement. Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) leader Nanda Patra led the movement. The events led to a significant backlash against the CPI(M) government, and were a major factor in the TMC's success in the elections that followed.[22]

Post-Nandigram/Singur elections

In the 2009 Lok Sabha election, TMC won 19 seats in West Bengal, in alliance with the Congress. They subsequently became a part of Manmohan Singh's government, with Banerjee serving as Minister of Railways.

In the 2010 Kolkata municipal election, the party won 97 out of 141 seats. It also won a majority of other municipalities.[23]

In government

 
Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal and chairperson of All India Trinamool Congress

In the 2011 West Bengal Legislative Assembly election, the TMC-led alliance that included the INC and SUCI(C) won 227 seats in the 294-seat legislature, defeating the incumbent Left Front government which had been in power for 34 years.[24][25][26] TMC alone won 184 seats, enabling it to govern without an alliance. Subsequently, it won a by-election in Basirhat and two Congress MLAs switched to the TMC, giving it a total of 187 seats. Banerjee, an MP at the time, had not contested the election and had to transfer to the safe seat of Bhabanipur.[27]

On 18 September 2012, Banerjee announced her decision to withdraw support to the UPA after the TMC's demands to undo government-instituted changes including FDI in retail, increase in the price of diesel and limiting the number of subsidised cooking gas cylinders for households, were not met.[28][29]

The 2014 Lok Sabha elections saw the TMC dominate the state, winning 34 out of the 42 seats. It also qualified for national party status, as the TMC had received 6% of the vote from five different states (West Bengal, Manipur, Tripura, Jharkhand and Assam).[30][31] On 2 September 2016, the Election Commission recognized TMC as a national political party.[32]

The party was reelected in the 2016 election to a supermajority government, and Banerjee continued as chief minister.[33]

The party won the most seats in West Bengal in the 2019 Indian general election, but suffered significant losses to the Bharatiya Janata Party, which for the first time established itself as a major force in the state.[34][35] After the election, the party's status came under revision by the Election Commission of India, due to a loss in presence in most states outside West Bengal.[36]

Banerjee's government was reelected again in the 2021 state election by an unexpectedly large margin over the BJP. Prior to the election, several high-profile TMC members such as Mukul Roy and Suvendu Adhikari had defected to the BJP. Despite the large winning margin, Banerjee was defeated by Adhikari in the Nandigram seat,[37] where she had transferred to fight Adhikari head-on.[38]

Presence in other states

Arunachal Pradesh

In the 2009 Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly election, Trinamool Congress won five seats and got 15.04% of the total votes.

In 2020, an independent MLA Chakat Aboh joined the TMC.

Assam

In the 2001 Assam Legislative Assembly election, Jamal Uddin Ahmed won Badarpur constituency. He was a Trinamool Congress candidate.[39] Since then, the party has not emphasized on any other organization.[incomprehensible] Later in 2018, the work of the organization started again under the leadership of M. Shanti Kumar Singha. In the 2021 assembly elections, it was decided to field candidates from 14 constituencies on behalf of the party.

All-India president of Congress's women's wing and its national spokesperson and former Silchar MP Sushmita Dev joined the Trinamool Congress in August 2021.[40] She is now an MP of Rajya Sabha.

Later in 2022, former Rajya Sabha MP from Congrees, Mr Ripun Bora joined AITC and was named the President of its Assam Unit. Leading to the joining many prominent local leaders joined the party strengthening its grassroot workers level. The Trinamool Congress released a list of candidates for four Lok Sabha seats in Assam in 2024. TMC's list of candidates includes Gauri Shankar Sarania from Kokrajhar (ST), Abdul Kalam Azad from Barpeta seat, Ghana Kanta Chutia from Lakhimpur seat, and Radheshyam Biswas from Silchar (SC).[41]

Bihar

On 23 November 2021 Kirti Azad, a three-time MP from Darbhanga and Pavan Varma, a former adviser to Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, joined TMC.[42][43][44]

Goa

With the 2022 Goa Legislative Assembly election approaching, the work of organizing the party started from September 2021. The work began with the participation of seven-time Goa Chief Minister Luizinho Faleiro. Since then, the party has increased its membership in Goa. Former footballer Denzil Franco and former tennis player Leander Paes were among those who joined the party. On 13 November 2021, Mahua Moitra was appointed as the in-charge of the party in Goa to prepare it to contest in the Assembly election.[45] MLA Churchill Alemao joined TMC in the same year.[46][47] In the 2022 Goa Legislative Assembly Election, it got 5.2% votes. Later its party President and many leaders left the party. Samil Volavaiker was appointed the President in 2023.

Haryana

On 23 November 2021 Ashok Tanwar, former president of Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee, joined TMC.[42][43][44] Sukhendu Shekhar Roy was appointed as in-charge of the party's Haryana unit on 25 November.[48]

Kerala

Kerala Pradesh Trinamool Congress was launched in 2009. In 2014, its candidates contested five seats under the party symbol in the parliamentary election. Leaders like Mukul Roy, Derek O'Brien, Mahua Moitra and Nadimul Haque visited Kerala and gave directions for further development in the party's activities. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Trinamool Congress candidates contested from five parliamentary constituencies. The 2014 Lok Sabha elections made the Trinamool Congress presence known in Kerala, although it failed to garner significant votes. In the 2016 state election, TMC contested in 70 assembly constituencies but due to technical errors, the party symbol was not accepted. District Committees in all 14 districts of Kerala. Constituency Committees in 95 constituencies out of 140 constituencies. Kerala Pradesh Trinamool Congress also has a 59-member state working committee. Kerala Pradesh trinamool Congress State President Dr. Harish Palathingal.The working president is Shamsu Payaningal. The party is active in all political spheres of the state of Kerala. The Trinamool Congress is aligned with the India Front but is not part of the UDF or the LDF in the state...[49][50][51][52]

Manipur

In the 2012 assembly elections of Manipur, the party won eight seats and got 10% of the total votes. It became the only opposition party in the Manipur Legislative Assembly.[53] In the 2017 assembly elections, the party won only one seat (from Thanga) and received 5.4% of the total votes cast in the elections.[54] Its lone member of the Manipur Legislative Assembly, Tongbram Robindro Singh, switched to the BJP government in Manipur in 2017. As of 18 June 2020, he has withdrawn support from the BJP, following the disqualification of seven of its members, to support the Indian National Congress.[55]

Meghalaya

TMC candidate Purno Agitok Sangma won the Tura constituency by a huge margin in the 2004 Lok Sabha election.

The party's Meghalaya unit was launched in 2021.[56][57]

On 24 November 2021, former Chief Minister of Meghalaya Mukul Sangma along with other 11 MLAs of INC joined TMC which made TMC the largest opposition party in Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.[58][59][60][61]

On 29 November, Charles Pyngrope was appointed as the president of AITC Meghalaya unit.[62] In 2022, one defected MLA who has earlier switched from INC quit the party and joined BJP.[63]

In the 2023 Meghalaya Legislative Assembly election, the Trinamool Congress led by Mukul Sangma contested 56 of the 60 seats and won five seats and received 13.32% of the votes; as such, it became a State Party.

Mizoram

In 2023, an independent MLA Dr. K Beichhua joined the TMC.

Punjab

Shortly before the Assembly elections in 2017, the party started working on the Punjab organization under the leadership of Jagat Singh. After that, during the assembly elections, it was decided that they would field candidates for 20 constituencies on behalf of the party. The party, however, did not gain any seats in Punjab in that election. After that the party's organisational work in Punjab almost completely stopped.[citation needed] From 2019, the party started a new committee under the leadership of Manjit Singh. Since then, the party has had a continuous presence in Punjab.

Tripura

Under the leadership of Sudip Roy Barman, former leader of opposition and then MLA of Tripura, all six MLAs of the Indian National Congress defected to the TMC in 2016, along with many ex-ministers, former MLAs, senior state and district level leaders, in addition to thousands of party workers and supporters, to fight CPI(M), who were running the Government in Tripura.[64][neutrality is disputed] Later in the presence of Himanta Biswa Sarma and Dharmendra Pradhan, Barman defected to the BJP along with all of the other TMC MLAs of the Tripura Legislative Assembly after they cross-voted against party lines in the 2017 Indian presidential election.[65]

TMC won one seat in Ambassa Municipal council in the 2021 Tripura civic polls despite widespread violence. TMC emerged as the second largest party in terms of vote-share in the 120 seats it contested out of 334 seats as it garnered 19.9% of the votes in those seats.[66]

Uttar Pradesh

The party's state unit in Uttar Pradesh was set up in 2005.[67]

In 2012, Shyam Sunder Sharma contested the by-poll to Mant constituency and won on a AITC ticket.[68][69][70] He later defected to BSP.[71][72]

Neeraj Rai is the current president of AITC 's state unit in Uttar Pradesh.[73][67][74][75][76][77]

In October 2021, two senior Congress leaders of Uttar Pradesh – Rajeshpati Tripathi and Laliteshpati Tripathi, who are the grandson and the great-grandson of former UP Chief Minister Kamalapati Tripathi, joined the AITC in the presence of Mamata Banerjee.[78][79][80][81]

Electoral performance

General election results

Year Lok Sabha Party leader Seats
contested
Seats won Seats +/- Vote %
(in whole country)
Vote swing Ref.
1998 12th Lok Sabha Mamata Banerjee 29
7 / 543
  7 2.42%   new [82]
1999 13th Lok Sabha 29
8 / 543
  1 2.57%   0.15% [83]
2004 14th Lok Sabha 33
2 / 543
  6 2.07%   0.5% [84]
2009 15th Lok Sabha 26
19 / 543
  17 3.20%   1.15% [85]
2014 16th Lok Sabha 131
34 / 543
  15 3.84%   0.64% [86]
2019 17th Lok Sabha 62
22 / 543
  12 4.11%   0.27% [87]

State Legislative Assembly elections

Vote share in consecutive West Bengal Assembly elections
2021
48.02%
2016
44.91%
2011
38.93%
2006
26.64%
2001
30.66%
Legislative Assembly elections[88]
Election Year Party leader Seats
contested
Seats won Change in seats Percentage
of votes
Vote swing Popular vote Result
Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly
2009 26
5 / 60
  5 15.04% 86,406 Others
Assam Legislative Assembly
2001[89] 23
1 / 126
  1 0.55% 58,361 Others
2011 126
1 / 126
  2.05% 283,683 Others
Goa Legislative Assembly
2022 Luizinho Faleiro 29
0 / 40
5.2% 49,480 Others
Manipur Legislative Assembly
2012 Maibam Kunjo 60
7 / 60
  7 17% 237,517 Opposition
2017 60
1 / 60
  6 1.4%  15.6% 23,304 Others
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly
2023 Mukul Sangma 56
5 / 60
  5 13.78%  13.38% 255,742 Opposition
Tripura Legislative Assembly
2018 24
0 / 60
0.3% 6,989 Others
2023 Pijush Kanti Biswas 28
0 / 60
0.88% 22,316 Others
Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly
2012 (By-election) 1
1 / 403
  1 Others
West Bengal Legislative Assembly
2001 Mamata Banerjee 226
60 / 294
  60 30.66% 11,229,396 Opposition
2006 Mamata Banerjee 257
30 / 294
  30 26.64%   4.02% 10,512,153 Opposition
2011 Mamata Banerjee 226
184 / 294
  154 38.93%   12.29% 18,547,678 Government
2016 Mamata Banerjee 293
211 / 294
  27 44.91%   5.98% 24,564,523 Government
2021 Mamata Banerjee 290
215 / 294
  4 48.02%   3.11% 28,968,281 Government

Presidential election results

Election Candidate First round Second round Result
Votes % Votes %
2022 Yashwant Sinha 380,177 35.97 Lost  N

Party symbols and slogans

 
A party office of the Trinamool Congress at Jagadishpur Hat, Howrah

The party name and election symbol represents 'grassroots'– the name contains the Bengali word trinamool, which literally means grassroots, and the symbol is a sapling emerging from the ground.[90] The symbol is known as Jora Ghas Phul (Bengali: grass and flower; two flowers with grass).[91] The usage of "All India" in the party name represents the rejection of "elitist" Indian National Congress from which it broke apart from.[90]

Ma Mati Manush (Bengali: মা মাটি মানুষ) was primarily a slogan, coined by Mamata Banerjee. The term is literally translated as "Mother, Motherland and People". The slogan became very popular in West Bengal at the time of the 2011 assembly election. Mamata Banerjee wrote a Bengali book with the same title.[92] A song was also recorded with the same title.[93][94]

The slogan Joy Bangla is also officially used by Mamata Banerjee and by her party Trinamool Congress as part of attempt to create a territorial and ethnolinguistic identity for Bengalis in India.[95][96] It is used in particular, as a closing remark for political speeches.[97][98][99]

In the 2021 assembly election, the party used a song "Khela Hobe" across the state. The song was penned by Debangshu Bhattacharya, a party youth wing member. The "Khela Hobe" term has been used across India by several opposition parties and to catalyze the movements against the establishment on multiple issues throughout the nation.[100][101]

Leadership

The highest decision-making body of the party is its Core Committee.

State/union territorial president and in-charge

This is a list of the official state, territorial and regional committees of the All India Trinamool Congress.

State/UT Committee President In-charge
State Committees of the All India Trinamool Congress
Andhra Pradesh AITC Andhra Pradesh NA TBD
Arunachal Pradesh AITC Arunachal Pradesh Chakat Aboh TBD
Assam AITC Assam Mr. Ripun Bora Sushmita Dev
Bihar AITC Bihar Mr. Kirti Azad TBD
Chhattisgarh AITC Chhattisgarh NA TBD
Goa AITC Goa Mr. Samil Volvoikar Mr. Kirti Azad
Gujarat AITC Gujarat Mr. Jitendra Kumar Khadayata TBD
Haryana AITC Haryana NA Sukhendu Shekhar Roy
Himachal Pradesh AITC Himachal Pradesh NA TBD
Jharkhand AITC Jharkhand NA TBD
Karnataka AITC Karnataka NA TBD
Kerala AITC Kerala Dr. Harish Palathingal Derek O'Brien
Madhya Pradesh AITC Madhya Pradesh NA TBD
Maharashtra AITC Maharashtra NA TBD
Manipur AITC Manipur TBD TBD
Meghalaya AITC Meghalaya Mr. Charles Pyngrope Mr. Manas Bhunia
Mizoram AITC Mizoram NA TBD
Nagaland AITC Nagaland NA TBD
Odisha AITC Odisha NA TBD
Punjab AITC Punjab Manjit Singh TBD
Rajasthan AITC Rajasthan NA TBD
Sikkim AITC Sikkim NA TBD
Tamil Nadu AITC Tamil Nadu Dr. Sabita Tamilini TBD
Telangana AITC Telangana NA TBD
Tripura AITC Tripura TBD Rajib Banerjee
Uttar Pradesh AITC Uttar Pradesh Laliteshpati Tripathi TBD
Uttarkhand AITC Uttarkhand NA TBD
West Bengal AITC West Bengal Mr. Subrata Bakshi TBD
Union Territorial Committees of the All India Trinamool Congress
Andaman and Nicobar Islands AITC Andaman and Nicobar Islands Ayan Mandal TBD
Chandigarh AITC Chandigarh NA NA
Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu AITC Dadra and Nagar Haveli NA TBD
Lakshadweep AITC Lakshadweep NA TBD
Delhi AITC Delhi NA TBD
Jammu and Kashmir AITC Jammu and Kashmir NA TBD
Ladakh AITC Ladakh NA TBD
Puducherry AITC Puducherry NA Dr. Sabita Tamilini

List of chairpersons

This is a list of chairpersons of the All India Trinamool Congress.

List of the national general secretaries

This is a list of national general secretaries of the All India Trinamool Congress.

Corruption cases and conviction

2014 Saradha Group financial scandal

The Saradha Group financial scandal and the Rose Valley financial scandal came to light during her tenure and some of her cabinet ministers were accused of money laundering and have been incarcerated.[103] One of her paintings was also sold to Sudipto Sen (central figure in the Saradha scam) for 1.8 crore (equivalent to 2.4 crore or US$300,000 in 2023), while 20 more of her pictures were seized from other Saradha Group shareholders.[104][105][106][107][108] She has been criticised by opposition parties for not taking adequate steps against her own ministers who tried to cover-up their deeds.[109][110] Sudipto Sen was arrested from Kashmir.[111] The Shyamal Sen Commission, set up by the Chief Minister, was able to return 185 crore (equivalent to 296 crore or US$37 million in 2023) to the depositors.[112] Leaders from Congress and CPI(M) like Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Sujan Chakraborty, Biman Bose were also accused in this scam.[113] Despite Bankshall Court's order to investigate into this matter, no action has been taken by CBI against any of these leaders (other than TMC leaders) to date.[114]

Rose Valley financial scandal

The Rose Valley financial scandal was a major financial scam and alleged political scandal in India caused by the collapse of a Ponzi scheme run by Rose Valley Group where multiple MPs from Banerjee's party were accused of money laundering.[115][116][117]

2016 Narada scam

The Narada sting operation was carried out by Mathew Samuel in 2011 for the Indian newsmagazine Tehelka and published on Naradanews.com just before the 2016 West Bengal Assembly elections. The sting targeted high-ranking officials and politicians of Banerjee's political party All India Trinamool Congress (AITC).[118][119]

During her tenure she challenged the federal system of India when she ordered the arrest of CBI officials, who arrived in Kolkata to investigate the Saradha Group financial scandal.[120] But CBI's attempted arrest of Kolkata Police Commissioner was also an attack on federalism.[121]

2022 coal scam case

Rujira Banerjee, the wife of Abhishek Banerjee, the Lok Sabha member and national general secretary of the Trinamool Congress, appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday after being prevented from boarding a flight to the UAE earlier this week due to a "lookout" notice issued by the central organization. Rujira received a summons to appear before the organization on 8 June when she arrived at the airport. She was questioned by the ED in relation to the coal theft case last year. She had previously been questioned by the CBI in the same matter in 2021.[122][123]

According to officials, as quoted by the news agency PTI, Rujira appeared before the ED in Kolkata on Thursday for questioning about the coal theft case. Rujira was being questioned by a team of five officials, including those from New Delhi. In a money-laundering case related to a West Bengal coal scam, the Supreme Court of India on Tuesday stayed a Delhi High Court decision allowing the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to question Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee in Delhi, but allowed the investigation agency to question him in Kolkata after providing 24 hours' notice.[124][125]

2022 cattle smuggling case

Anubrata Mondal, a powerful member of the Trinamool Congress who was detained on August 11, has been placed in the custody of the CBI until August 20. On the evening of August 11, Mondal was transferred from Asansol to the CBI office in Kolkata's Nizam Palace, where he is currently being questioned.[126][127]

Mondal is one of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's most dependable aides, and he was in charge of all TMC operations in Birbhum. The ongoing cross-border cattle smuggling case, which allegedly involves a connection between BSF, Customs, and police personnel with racketeers and politicians, has come back into the spotlight as a result of the arrest of the TMC strongman.[128][129]

2022 West Bengal School Service recruitment scam

West Bengal School Service recruitment scam is an ongoing education SSC scam in West Bengal, India since 2022.[130] The scam is being currently investigated jointly by Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate.[131] The scam was revealed, following the arrest of Partha Chatterjee, a Trinamool Congress leader, who has served as the Minister of Education in the Mamata Banerjee's cabinet until his arrest on 23 July 2022.[132]

Allegations of extortion

Before Trinamool (AITC) took office in West Bengal in 2011, the regional AITC party leaders grew significantly in strength. The leaders allegedly began requesting a portion of the funds used to construct any new buildings in the region. As time went on, various groups in various locations began to emerge and link with various local AITC leaders. The entire syndicate business is alleged to have prospered when AITC ultimately won the 2011 Legislative Assembly election and began their tenure.[133][134][135]

See also

References

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Further reading

External links