Crisis averted? Mamata manages to pacify Kolkata mayor

Sovan Chatterjee Sovan Chatterjee |Salil Bera

A crisis related to the possible departure of Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee from the Trinamool Congress appears to have been averted, for the time-being at least, after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee spoke to Chatterjee, a former close lieutenant, late on Monday night and apparently pacified him to continue in the party.

Chatterjee on Tuesday said a section of people (read as being in his party) tried to finish his political career.

“I am now a minister and mayor and would remain so. My leader, Mamata Banerjee, asked me to continue with both the jobs,” Chatterjee told THE WEEK.

Earlier at a press conference, Chatterjee said he was facing much distress owing to his impending break-up with his wife. He also denied that he was all set to join the BJP.

When asked about his wife, Ratna, accusing him of mental torture, Chatterjee said he had left his house with only his dress and had taken nothing.

“I got married in 1996 and now am breaking up in 2018. If there is no reason, can anybody decide to end his marriage?” he retorted.

Rumours had also spread about Chatterjee’s relationship with a college professor, Baisakhi Banerjee.

On Tuesday, however, Chatterjee said he was grateful to Baisakhi for the kind of support she had given him during this critical period of his life. Baisakhi was a leader of a TMC-affiliated college teachers’ body from which she was recently expelled.

“I would have been completely destroyed if she and her family did not come to my help. I am grateful to Baisakhi,” Chatterjee declared.

Sources have confirmed that Mamata was advised by some party leaders close to Chatterjee that it would be a major loss for the party if like Mukul Roy, Chatterjee was also allowed to go.

Only after this advice, did Mamata decide to call her erstwhile associate and asked him to concentrate on party work without thinking of anything else.

Questions now remain on whether Chatterjee would get back the prominence he had in the party.