In Kolkata, the ruling Trinamool Congress has been hit by a curious siege within. The Mayor of Kolkata has called the Mayor of Salt Lake - a township adjoining Kolkata - a "Mir Jaffar", or betrayer, after he dined publicly with the BJP leader whom Mamata Banerjee has long labelled a "gaddar" or traitor: Mukul Roy.
The Mayor of Salt Lake, Sabyasachi Dutta, was a known Mukul Roy loyalist when Mr Roy was in Trinamool. After he quit, many expected Mr Dutta to follow him. But he did not.
Now, he appears to be provoking the Trinamool to throw him out.
His recent statements about Trinamool prompted Mayor of Kolkata Firhad Hakim and Trinamool troubleshooters to meet councillors from Salt Lake on Sunday to consider a no-trust motion against Dutta.
Mr Dutta responded by meeting Mukul Roy for dinner the same evening.
He said it was merely a courtesy meeting. If the chief minister, he said, could send kurtas and sweets to the Prime Minister as a courtesy, why could he not have dinner with Mukul Roy.
Firhad Hakim called it a "betrayal". He said Mr Dutta should resign before dining with the Trinamool's biggest enemy. To this, Mr Dutta said, "If I have flouted party discipline, then cancel my membership".
But Trinamool is hesitating to do so as the Salt Lake municipal corporation then may slip out of its hands.
And so the shadow war continues between the Mayors -- with the Salt Lake elder taking pot shots even at the Trinamool decision to hire Prashant Kishor to advise the party ahead of the Assembly elections.
Mr Dutta has even raised questions about how much money Trinamool was paying Prashant Kishor. He said he has read in the papers it was a 400 to 500 crore rupee deal.
According to last reports, Firhad Hakim has asked the councillors to bring a no trust against Mr Dutta at the earliest.
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