Kolkata, Feb 21 (IANS) Ahead of the polls to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, hoardings appeared on Friday across the city urging former Mayor Sovan Chatterjee to make a comeback and restore the metropolis to its glorious self, triggering speculation of him emerging as the mayoral face of the BJP.
The hoardings were put up in the name of “citizens of Kolkata”, but the presence of the BJP’s lotus symbol gave further grist to the rumour mill.
The hoardings, carrying Chatterjee’s picture, were mainly seen over an extensive zone in south Kolkata stretching from Exide Crossing to Tollygunge.
One of the hoardings urged Chatterjee to “Come back to restore an incomplete Kolkata Municipal Corporation to its glorious self”.
Another urged him to “Come forward to restore the glorious self of a malfunctionng Kolkata”.
Chatterjee, who crossed over to the BJP last August snapping his two-decade innings with the Trinamool Congress, has never been seen playing an active role in the party after a number of issues cropped up affecting his relations with the saffron outfit’s leadership.
State BJP chief Dilip Ghosh dismissed the involvement of his party in putting up the hoardings, but added a rider.
“Maybe, our workers or the common citizens are behind this. Everybody wants him to become active… If he becomes active that will be great. Everyone knows about the work he has done. If he becomes active, Bobby Hakim (present Mayor Firhad Hakim of Trinamool) will be in trouble,” he said.
But he ruled out projecting Chatterjee as the mayoral face.
“BJP doesn’t fight polls by making somebody its face. The party chooses its leader after the triumph,” said Ghosh, when queried about the issue.
He also denied any knowledge of who had erected the hoardings.
“I have no idea. I also saw them on Facebook, on media.”
Chatterjee was Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee’s close lieutenant during his long stint in the party. But he got estranged from her because of his closeness with Baisakhi Banerjee and break up with his wife.
But things did not pan out the way Chatterjee would have liked after he joined the BJP.
In fact, the day ChatterjeeAand Baisakhi Banerjee crossed over to the BJP, there was a discordant note. Bengali actress and Trinamool legislator Debasree Roy – once close to Chatterjee – was seen in the saffron outfit’s national headquarters at the same time when the new joinees were there.
Later, Baisakhi time and again complained that she was not given any importance by the party leaders, and alleged they had “humiliated and insulted” her.