Has Sovan Chatterjee finally shut the doors on TMC?

With the inclusion of Sovan Chatterjee’s name in the BJP's state executive committee, there are speculations in West Bengal whether the former Kolkata mayor has completely shut the doors on his former party TMC.

Earlier, rumours were doing the rounds that Chatterjee was in talks with the Trinamool Congress (TMC) camp following which senior BJP leader Arvind Menon met him in August.

Several TMC leaders are said to be in constant communication with the former party colleague.

Chatterjee switched camp from TMC to the BJP in August 2019, months after he was asked to step down as mayor and give up other ministerial portfolios he held in Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government.

He, however, has not played an active role in politics after joining the BJP along with friend Baishakhi Bandhopadhyay. The uneasiness with the BJP began when Chatterjee’s formal induction was conducted at the BJP office in Kolkata in media presence while Bandhopadhyay was not a part of the event.

Things have been uncertain ever since the duo's induction into the BJP in August last year, with Chatterjee hoping he would get a bigger piece of the pie as a senior leader who had held important ministerial posts while in the TMC. Ahead of the lockdown, there were posters put up of Chatterjee alongside TMC’s expected mayoral candidate Firhad Hakkim, to take on his former party in the KMC elections which were to be held in May.

In the July 21's Martyr's Day speech, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee had said the doors were open for those who had ventured out of the ruling party and wanted to return.

While there are no comments from Chatterjee on his inclusion in the BJP state executive as a permanent invitee, grapevine are abuzz within the TMC that the former mayor is still considering return to the TMC.

According to sources within the TMC, Chatterjee has not closed his doors to his former party and is likely to switch back to the green camp.Chatterjee is expected to give an answer on whether he indeed wants to go back to the TMC before the end of this month, when the auspicious day of Mahalaya signals the onset of Durga Puja.

If the former Mayor answers in the affirmative, he will be inducted into the party before Durga Puja celebrations which begin in the end of October.

Chatterjee, however, continues to remain silent on the speculations.

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Free Press Journal