KOLKATA: Former Kolkata mayor Sovan Chatterjee and his friend Baisakhi Banerjee’s absence from BJP’s public rally on Monday, touted to be their first for BJP, overshadowed the event making the saffron party uncomfortable.
After Sovan, who was made Bengal BJP observer of Kolkata region last month, absented himself, BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya led the rally from Diamond Harbour Road. When the rally reached Wattgunge area, a shoe was flung at participants from a street corner meeting organised by Trinamool. Police controlled the situation. “It seems TMC has become frustrated now. These are signs of their desperation,” Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said.
Trouble started on Monday morning when Baisakhi said she would be unable to attend the rally due to fluctuating blood pressure. State BJP members tried to pursuade her to attend but failed. Hours later, Sovan too opted out.
When Sovan was appointed party observer and Baisakhi the co-convener, both were in Bhubaneswar. Sources indicated that Baisakhi was not happy with Shankudeb Panda being made coconvener as well. The twists-and-turns culminated in Sovan and Baisakhi’s nameplates being removed from the room allotted to them at BJP’s office. “I am not aware if any room was allotted to them,” Ghosh said. Asked if the party was going to take any action against the duo, Ghosh said the disciplinary panel looked into such issues.