- Trinamool MLA Sabyasachi Dutta hosted a Ganesh Puja in Kolkata
- Galaxy of BJP leaders showed up as chief guests
- Tensions between Trinamool and BJP are at record high in West Bengal
Tensions between the Trinamool and BJP are at record high in West Bengal. BJP MP, Arjun Singh, is in hospital with a head injury, the governor cut short his visit to New Delhi, returned to Kolkata, visited the MP and condemned the violence at Barrackpore.
"I am in pain at the violence," the governor said. "It's a political statement," said Trinamool's Sougata Roy.
At such a time, Trinamool MLA Sabyasachi Dutta hosted a Ganesh Puja at Salt Lake and, instead of top leaders from his party, a galaxy of BJP leaders showed up as chief guests.
State chief Dilip Ghosh, national secretary Arvind Menon and Mukul Roy, erstwhile Trinamool MP with the BJP since 2017, sat in front of the Ganesh idol and worshipped him together.
Mr Dutta and Mr Roy were always close. Speculation is, Mr Dutta is only biding time to jump ship. He was recently unceremoniously removed from the powerful post of Salt Lake Mayor.
The signals of his probable exit were all there on Monday at the Ganesh Puja. All the BJP leaders used the platform to condemn the attack on its MP Arjun Singh.
But Mr Dutta was the harshest critic. "The government has managed to keep things calm in Kashmir but it is not able to calm things down in Bengal. It is unfortunate and the centre should see what to do," he said.
Later, asked if today's event with BJP leaders as stars signaled he was ready to jump ship, Mr Dutta was evasive. "You might think I am moving towards BJP. I am not. Time will tell."
Mentor Mukul Roy was more forthright. "At the right moment he will take the call, don't worry."
State BJP chief Dilip Ghosh was diplomatic. "We have not spoken about it. Let us see. If he wants to join, we will take him. He is a big politician. What can we say to him?"
Mr Ghosh is possibly being a little careful given the recent embarrassment with another Trinamool MLA who joined the BJP.
Sovan Chatterjee, Kolkata's former mayor and Trinamool MLA, joined the BJP in Delhi on 14 August. But, according to his partner Baisakhi Banerjee who joined BJP along with him, both of them want to leave the BJP after a bitter initiation in the party.
Sabyasachi Dutta is unfazed by Mr Chatterjee's setback. Asked about Mr Chatterjee's early exit from BJP, Mr Dutta said, "I can't speak for him. My name is not Sovan Chatterjee."