KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee met Leader of the Opposition Shubhendu Adhikari in his chamber in the state assembly on Friday after her former colleague for the first time defected to the Trinamool Congress and joined the BJP ahead of the 2021 state polls. Had a meeting. Adhikari had defeated the TMC supremo in Nandigram in the assembly elections. The BJP leader was invited to Banerjee's chamber in the state assembly, which she accepted. He also requested to bring some other BJP MLAs along with him. The officer was accompanied by BJP MLAs Agnimitra Paul, Ashok Lahiri and Manoj Tigga. State Education Minister Bratya Basu was also present in the meeting. While Paul touched Banerjee's feet and sought her blessings, Banerjee interrogated Adhikari's father, Sisir Adhikari. During the three-minute meeting, Banerjee jokingly asked BJP MLA and economist Lahiri to come over to Trinamool's side. On this, Lahiri offered economic advice to the Chief Minister if needed. BJP leaders also told the chief minister that they wanted Lahiri to head the Public Accounts Committee, but Krishna Kalyani, who won on a BJP ticket but later switched to the TMC after the state elections, was given the key post. . Speaking on the floor of the Legislative Assembly after the meeting, Banerjee said, "Suvendu was like my brother, now he says it is party se, by party, for party", referring to Adhikari's 2020 jibe at TMC doing. Meanwhile, BJP chief whip Tigga told The source, “We want to work with the government for the development of Bengal. The stand of the Trinamool Congress has not helped the cause.
INTENTION OF MEETINGS
Asked what transpired in the meeting, BJP leader Shubhendu Adhikari refused to comment and only said it was a “courtesy call”.
Political analyst Biswanath Chakraborty told source that this “courtesy call” was not without political intent. “The officer is the bridge to the centre. It is he who reports to the central leadership of the BJP about the progress of central programs in the state. This meeting will help bridge that gap.”
Meanwhile, West Bengal minister Chandrima Bhattacharya told source , “Despite all the humiliation, Banerjee met the officer. It has a great political message that good manners are rare in politics.
It may be noted that Banerjee had recently greeted CPI(M) veteran Biman Bose during the swearing-in ceremony of new Bengal Governor CV Anand Bose.
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