Blood is not thicker than water when it comes to politics. It’s quite common to see major rifts take place in political clans, especially before big elections. Think of the Thackerays. Now, it’s the turn of West Bengal’s most influential Banerjee family to develop cracks.

West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee has publicly announced that she is severing all ties with her younger brother Swapan, popularly known as Babun. The cause of the discord was Babun’s expression of displeasure over the party re-nominating Prasun Banerjee, a former footballer from the Howrah Lok Sabha seat, and his declaration that, if needed, he would himself contest as an independent.

“I do not consider him to be part of my family. I break all relations with him. From today, my family and I renounce all relationships with him,” a visibly angry Banerjee told reporters in Siliguri on Wednesday when asked about Babun’s remarks to the media.

Earlier, Babun Banerjee, the youngest of the Trinamool Congress supremo’s five brothers, said, “I have been with the party for a long time. But I am not happy with the selection of the candidate from the Howrah Lok Sabha seat. Prasun Banerjee is not the right choice. There were many capable candidates who were overlooked.”

Prasun Banerjee, a former Indian football team captain, is a two-time Lok Sabha MP of the Trinamool Congress from the Howrah seat.

“I know Didi (Mamata) would not agree with me. But if needed, I will contest as an independent candidate from Howrah,” Babun told reporters. He denied speculations that he might switch over to the BJP, Mamata’s archrival.

While talking to the media in Siliguri, the chief minister said, “I have been working with crores of people in my party. I have nothing called a family. ‘Maa Mati Manush’ is my family. In terms of blood relations, I have a family of 32 members. But no one is like him (Babun). Everyone is unhappy with him.”

Banerjee said she does not practice “dynasty politics” and stressed, “We will stand by our party candidate.”

Notably, the BJP has for long been criticising Banerjee for “promoting” dynasty politics. Her nephew, Abhishek Banerjee, is Trinamool’s national general secretary and Lok Sabha MP from Diamond Harbour.