West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee
Photo: PTI

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) is smelling a political plot into the cancellation of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s virtual Oxford Union Debate on Wednesday which was cancelled last thirty minutes before the start time of the debate.

“While Hon' ble Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, was scheduled to address the Oxford Union debating society today afternoon, the organizers have suddenly sought postponement and re- scheduling of the programme at the last moment! The request has been made telephonically from the organisers' end, citing some unforeseen problems, a brief while ago. The programme with Oxford Union today stands cancelled (sic).” tweeted the West Bengal Home Department.

The programme, which was fixed five months ago, was rescheduled on Wednesday from 5:00 PM to 2:30 PM which the Chief Minister had agreed to.

Mamata would have been the first Indian woman chief minister to address the prestigious debate. US Presidents, British prime ministers and legends like Albert Einstein, Michael Jackson have spoken here.

The letter was written to Goutam Sanyal, principal secretary to the chief minister stating the cancellation of the event. “I sincerely hope that the Hon’ble Chief Minister will understand and might honour us with her esteemed presence at the earliest possible convenience to you. With your permission, I will pass your details onto my successor, to whom I hand over this Friday. Once again, my deepest apologies and to reiterate the Union would be happy and proud to welcome the Hon’ble Chief Minister whenever may be convenient in her busy election schedule.” States the letter.

The TMC is questioning who is behind blocking these programs and whether there is tremendous pressure put from the topmost levels on the organisers in wake of the upcoming Assembly elections in the state. There has been no specific reason stated as yet, why the Chief Minister’s debate was cancelled last minute.

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