‘Will Work Together With Everyone, Bring Youth Back to Bengal’
Saayoni Ghosh, newly appointed president of the TMYC speaks about joining Bengal politics and the 2024 LS polls.
“All those who left West Bengal for better job opportunities will come back. They will all come back home to Bengal,” says Saayoni Ghosh, who has been appointed as the president of the All India Trinamool Youth Congress (TMYC), after Abhishek Banerjee resigned from the post to take charge as the general secretary of the ruling party in the state.
The announcement was made at a virtual meeting on Saturday, 5 June, which was attended by TMC’s working committee, MLAs, and poll strategist Prashant Kishore. The appointments were made as the party is aiming to play a bigger role in national politics and challenge the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
First Woman President
From being trolled and receiving death threats as an actor to doing door-to-door campaigns as an MLA candidate for Asansol South, and thereafter being recognised by TMC workers and the common people alike, the actor-turned-politician has bagged a lifetime’s worth of experience in the last three months; and all this despite losing her vote in the Assembly elections.
Ghosh is the first woman to be appointed as president of the TMYC. The post was previously held by Abhishek Banerjee and now BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari. She is also the first actor in the state to climb the political ladder in such a short time.
‘My Entry Into Politics Was Organic’
Talking about when her interest in politics piqued, Ghosh says, “What was happening around me in the country, on a national level, was very perturbing. It started from when the CAA, NRC protests erupted in the country, followed by the strike on the JNU students, and a lot of other policies of the central government have also been disturbing. The plight of the people around me started disturbing me personally.”
The 28-year-old politician, who never shied away from voicing her opinions even as an actor, had also spoken out against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over the censoring of a film. “I have always been a vocal person, but never have I had to face consequences just for speaking my mind.”
Similarly, when she started speaking out against the BJP, she was victim to many trolls, threats, and even an FIR was lodged against her for a tweet posted in 2015.
“Once I started speaking on camera, against the Centre and the BJP, I became a victim to a lot of trolls, (as well as) rape and death threats. That was when I realised I need a political platform to ensure my voice is heard, and Mamata Banerjee gave me that platform. That is how it all began.”Saayoni Ghosh, TMYC President
She was nominated as the candidate for South Asansol from TMC, which was one of the party’s toughest seat, which she lost by a little over 4,500 votes. Her door-to-door campaigns were appreciated by people on ground and by party workers.
She did not stop working even after she lost the elections. She went back to Asansol, where she was welcomed by the locals with garlands, and got involved with COVID relief work. Even before the announcement regarding her post was made on Saturday, Ghosh had already begun rehabilitation work for those affected by Cyclone ‘Yaas’ in West Bengal.
The Road Ahead
“We will carry forward the 10 pointers mentioned in the manifesto released by Mamata Banerjee. We will ensure they are followed and that the vision of our leader is properly executed and achieved. We have to strengthen the organisation and ensure that the 10 crore people of Bengal, all of them, will re-elect Mamata Banerjee in the next term too,” Ghosh says.
While institutes like Jadavpur University and Presidency with their own students' unions, several youngsters interested in active politics. On being asked if she would consider taking them in, she says, “I want to work with anyone who is interested in making our state better. As far as youth is concerned, there should be no limitations. We must go beyond party lines, as far as students are concerned.”
“We have to get good people on board, who think about politics, the state, and the country. We must build a very strong organisation and battle it out with the central government, a battle in favour of our supremo, Mamata Banerjee,” Ghosh adds.
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