Kolkata: Another Trinamul Congress MLA, this time a heavyweight one who was once a close aide of chief minister Mamata Banerjee, is expected to defect to the BJP. He is Sovan Chatterjee who had quit his mayorship as well as ministership over a controversy in his personal life. According to sources, Mr Chatterjee had visited New Delhi for talks with some senior BJP leaders after the Lok Sabha election following the Trinamul’s poor performance.
The former Kolkata mayor held a meeting with Ram Lal when he was BJP all India general secretary (organisation) on the instruction of BJP president and Union home minister Amit Shah and BJP leader J.P. Nadda, sources revealed while adding that Mr Nadda even introduced Mr Chatterjee to B L Santosh who has become Mr Lal’s successor in the party post recently. Sources indicated that Mr Chatterjee’s induction to the BJP is likely to happen anytime.
The development comes at a time when the Trinamul leadership including the party supremo is desperately trying to bring back Mr Chatterjee, who is also a councillor of the ward no 131, to the mainstream of party activities with less than a year left for the Kolkata Municipal Corporation election. Recently the chief minister held a meeting with some Trinamul councillors, known for their proximity to him, at the Assembly to Mr Chatterjee to send him a message of a ‘comeback’.
She even sent her messenger, Ratan Mukherjee, who is also her long-time confidant, to meet him in person and mollify him before his Delhi visit, sources claimed. Urban development minister and Mr Chatterjee’s successor to the city mayor’s post Firhad Hakim also tried to guide him back to the party affairs. But Mr Chatterjee has remained firm in his stand, staying away from the Trinamul and his role of being an MLA and councillor, sources disclosed.
In November last year, he resigned as the Kolkata mayor within a day of quitting his ministership of two key departments — fire and emergency services and housing departments.