Thursday, March 10, 2011

IIM duo to intern with Trinamool Congress

Kolkata, March 10, 2011

In the run-up to the Assembly elections in West Bengal, Trinamool Congress will take as interns two students of the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta to reach out to the youth in the state.

The IIM-C finalists Hariharan Sriram and Mansha Tandon wrote to Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee about four months ago, expressing their eagerness to do the internship with the party from April 11 to May 13.

"Our decision (for the internship) had to do a lot with the process of political change with the Trinamool Congress and Mamata Banerjee at the forefront. We wanted to look at this change from inside," Sriram told PTI.

A B-Tech from National Institute of Technology, Trichi, Sriram said he wanted to gain an insight about the working of the political system, particularly the marketing and organisational skills of the political parties.

"It is easy to sit in the drawing room and theorise about political events. We think the internship would give us the view at the ground," he said.

Before writing to Ms. Banerjee, Sriram discussed the matter with party vice-president Derek O'Brien who delivered a lecture at the IIM-C in August last year on the theme 'Success Is a Four-Letter Word'

In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, IIM-C student Harsh Vardhan Chhaparia had followed BJP leader L.K. Advani on his campaign trail.

Sriram and Tandon, whose areas of study at the IIM-C included public policy, management and the politics of development, will intern at the Trinamool Congress 'war room' from April 11 to May 13.

They will join a small team of seasoned politicians and other professionals at the Trinamool Bhavan, party sources said.

"We will be working on the youth connect. We will also try to figure out how to put in place an online system to connect to people who are cyber literate," Mr. Tandon said.

A major in Economics and French from the University of New South Wales, Australia, Tandon said her decision to intern with the Trinamool Congress was because she felt "very divorced" from Indian polity.

When contacted, party vice-president Derek O'Brien said he was not surprised that people from all walks of life were attracted to the vision of party chief Mamata Banerjee.

"It is not surprising at all that more people from the grassroots to the boardroom are getting attracted to Mamata's vision of 'Ma-Mati-Manush'," he said.

Six-phased Assembly polls in West Bengal will be held on April 18, 23, 27, May 3, 7 and 10.

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