New Delhi: Mamata Banerjee, a quintessential rebel, was here on Wednesday to meet her political bete noire Prime Minister Narendra Modi. On Thursday, the firebrand Bengal leader met her another political foe Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
But it was a much no more the spitfire Banerjee, but a much mellowed Chief Minister who raised the issues of changing her states name from West Bengal to Bangla and expressed her "concern" over NRC, which till last week was "inhuman and autocratic".
So what's behind the rebellious defiance softening into almost abject "submission"?
Many, including the opposition, blame it on the CBI's hyper enthusiasm to track down Rajeev Kumar, former Kolkata Police Commissioner and a Mamata favourite, in the Saradha chit fund scam.
It's believed, Kumar knows way too much, which made Mamata to sit on a dharna in Kolkata for Kumar this February when CBI sleuths went to question him. Bengal Congress President Somen Mitra said she was trying to find an "escape route" for her trusted cop.
While Banerjee rubbished speculations over her meeting, it's a fact that she met the Prime Minister after a gap of 15 months. Also, between the meetings in May 2018 and September 2019, Banerjee has made a long political journey -- from being the darling of the opposition for her outspoken and often vitriolic charge at Modi as Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo to a seasoned Chief Minister keen on a fair Centre-State relations.
Also, the rabble-rouser of Bengal politics, who uprooted an entrenched CPI(M) from the iconic Writers' Building was a picture of all grace and courtesy.
On Wednesday, Banerjee might have brought several packets of sandesh, a Bengali sweets, from a well-known Kolkata confectionery for Modi, but just a few weeks back -- in April -- she wanted to shatter the Prime Minister's denture by getting him offered rosogollas made of clay with fillings of gravel.
By Anindya Banerjee