Former Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee and his companion Baisakhi Bandyopadhyay visited West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s residence today. This has reignited speculation of Mr Chatterjee’s likely return to the Trinamool Congress (TMC). He had quit TMC and joined BJP in 2019.
Today’s meeting was Mr Chatterjee’s second with the TMC supremo this year.
About today’s visit to Ms Banerjee’s residence, Mr Chatterjee said: “I met Mamata Banerjee and it cannot be said that politics was not discussed. Whatever happens, it will be according to her word.”
Later, while leaving the Bengal Chief Minister’s residence, Ms Bandyopadhyay said: “Sovan received bhai-phonta (Bhai Dooj) from Mamata Didi and he is always pampered by Didi. She treats Sovan like a brother. I am glad their personal relationship is still strong. Didi has always seen him as an active politician and she has always advised him to remain active.”
She added: “In between, there was a misunderstanding, but that is now over. I believe Sovan should return to active politics.”
After joining BJP, Mr Chatterjee had expected a major role and a plump position in the party, but that did not happen. In 2021, he quit the BJP along with his friend Ms Bandyopadhyay, unhappy over not getting a ticket of his choice for the assembly elections.
Mr Chatterjee was considered a close aide of the Bengal CM till he resigned as Kolkata Mayor in 2018.
He had had earlier met the Chief Minister at the state secretariat, ‘Nabanna’, in June this year, setting off speculations about his likely return to TMC.
He was accompanied by his friend Ms Bandyopadhyay to ‘Nabanna’, too, though he avoided responding to questions about his next political move and told journalists that he would follow the directions of “Mamata di“, adding that “There are no hard feelings”.
Mr Chatterjee is a four-time TMC MLA and was elected as a councillor in Kolkata Corporation in 1985. He was elected as the Mayor in 2010.