Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s birthday wishes to her predecessor Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee have attracted verbal jibes from her former aide and current BJP leader Mukul Roy, who called the TMC and the CPM “two sides of the same coin”. Roy said that Mamata has forgotten she had once said that Buddhadeb’s “hands are filled with blood” after deaths in police firing in the Nandigram episode when the CPM leader helmed the state.
As Buddhadeb turned 73 on Thursday, Banerjee wished him through a Twitter message, and also sent flowers, sweets and cakes to his two-bedroom government residence at Palm Avenue in south Kolkata through her security personnel. “Birthday greetings to Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, former Chief Minister of West Bengal,” she tweeted.
“At present, BJP is the only party which is fighting against the CPM — Mamata Banerjee has moved away from the fight,” Roy said on Thursday. “After coming to power in 2011 she is trying to get close to CPM. She is saying that in Tripura it will be better if the CPI(M) wins. She is wishing Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on his birthday.”
Stating that wishing someone on his birthday is “not wrong”, Roy said, “But she has forgotten that years ago she said that Buddhadeb’s hands are filled with blood (after police firing) and went to gherao his house.”
He said, “There is no difference between the Trinamool Congress and the CPM now. Earlier too, the chief minister has asked about Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s health. In fact, although she came to power in West Bengal fighting the CPM, she is with the CPM now.”
Mamata had visited Bhattacharjee’s home after he fell ill recently to ask about his health conditions. She had also also expressed anguish over the ill-maintained condition of the flat and instructed Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) authorities to undertake repair work immediately – she had offered Bhattacharjee a government guesthouse to stay with wife, Mira Bhattacharjee, in the interim, while the repair activities were on.
A senior Bengal BJP leader, who did not wish to be named due to Roy’s proximity with the party’s central leadership, said he personally does not endorse Roy’s he comments. “This is a matter of political courtesy where a present chief minister has conveyed birthday wishes to her predecessor. I think it would have been better had Roy not made the comment, and that too on occasion of Dol Purnima (Holi),” he said.
On February 28, Banerjee had said on the floor of the Assembly that she would have been happy if the CPM wins in the Tripura Assembly elections. The results of the elections in Tripura, where the NDA is projected to emerge victorious by at least two exit polls, as well as those in Meghalaya and Nagaland will be declared Saturday.