Sovan in Mamata's house on 'Bhai Phonta', BJP miffed

Chatterjee, the four-time TMC MLA, joined the BJP in New Delhi on August 14.  Photo/Facebook (Sovon Chatterjee)

BJP leader Sovan Chatterjee, who had severed ties with the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal over differences with the party leadership, on Tuesday visited the residence of its supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the occasion of 'Bhai Phonta'.

Miffed over the development, the BJP leadership tried to put up a brave face, noting that religious festivals should be kept above "petty politics".

Chatterjee went to Banerjee's residence in Kalighat area of the city along with his close associate Baishakhi Bandopadhyay.

The four-time TMC MLA, however, did not speak to media persons waiting outside the house of the chief minister.

'Bhai Phonta' or 'Bhai Dooj' celebrates the bonding between brothers and sisters.

"I don't see any politics in it. We should keep politics aside when it comes to taking part in religious festivals and social occasions.

"He (Sovan) has been going to her (Banerjee's) residence for several years on the occasion of 'Bhai Phonta', so it could be the reason behind his visit," West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh told PTI.

According to West Bengal BJP sources, the state unit has informed the central leadership about the development and it is likely to seek "an explanation" from Chatterjee for visiting Banerjee's residence without informing the party.

Chatterjee had been a two-time mayor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation, besides being a minister.

The chief minister is known to have played a key role in shaping his political career, which like her had begun in the Youth Congress, before reaching the top echelons of the TMC.

Chatterjee and Bandopadhyay joined the BJP in New Delhi on August 14. However, he has not been seen in any public programme of the saffron party since then.

Bandopadhyay earlier claimed that Chatterjee had expressed his desire to quit the saffron fold for being "regularly humiliated", but he did not make any public announcement on quitting the BJP.

Chatterjee was asked by Banerjee to resign from his post as both minister and mayor in November 2018 following problems in his personal life.

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