New Delhi: For all the bonhomie between West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and her Tamil Nadu counterpart Stalin, Trinamool Congress (TMC) is not in the mood to join the chorus of opposition voices against governors, including TN Governor R.N. Ravi.
Banerjee met Stalin Thursday when she was in Chennai to attend a family event hosted by Bengal Governor La Ganesan — a far cry from her bitter exchanges with his predecessor and now Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar.
Trinamool sources told ThePrint that while the Mamata-Stalin meeting was “cordial and fruitful”, the party would not respond positively to Stalin’s appeal for like-minded opposition parties in power to come together against the overreach of the Raj Bhavan in Chennai.
DMK has written to opposition parties, asking them to sign a memorandum to President Droupadi Murmu demanding the removal of TN Governor Ravi. DMK’s appeal is the latest in a series of run-ins between state governors and Raj Bhavans, including in Left-ruled Kerala. The Congress — a DMK ally — is the only party that has agreed to sign the memorandum.
While making a similar appeal to opposition parties against Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, the ruling CPI(M) has also decided to reach out to all non-BJP state governments to garner support.
“Congress is an ally of the DMK in Tamil Nadu. DMK supported them in the Bharat Jodo Yatra. Politically, we are in a different space. We are not allies of DMK. In fact, we are not in alliance with anybody at all. In the next Lok Sabha elections too, Trinamool Congress will take on the BJP single-handedly in all 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state,” a senior TMC leader told ThePrint.
Adding, “We have relations with all opposition parties but with the likes of AAP (Aam Aadmi Party), TRS (Telangana Rashtra Samithi) and SP (Samajwadi Party), which are not allies of the Congress, the relationship is different from that with parties that are allies of the Congress.”
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Changing equations with governor
La Ganesan assumed office as the governor of West Bengal on 18 July, assuming additional charge along with his responsibility as governor of Manipur. Almost immediately, the earlier relationship of rancour between the Raj Bhavan in Kolkata and Nabanna — state secretariat — changed.
His assumption of office also coincided with a series of arrests of Trinamool leaders including former minister Partha Chatterjee and Bolpur strongman Anubrata Mondal, pushing the party on the backfoot.
Before she travelled to Chennai to attend a family function hosted by the governor this week, Banerjee hosted him for a Kali Puja event at her residence last month — raising speculation that with a slew of cases against TMC leaders, Banerjee may not be willing to open too many fronts at the same time.
Though Banerjee had also hosted Dhankhar for Kali Puja when he was governor, it did little to repair the troubled relationship between the two. Asked about Banerjee’s decision to attend the birthday celebrations of Ganesan’s elder brother in Chennai, the TMC leader quoted earlier said: “It was a very important event.”
(Edited by Amrtansh Arora)
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