Special Correspondent

No Trinamool Union Minister will share the dais with Left Front Ministers

KOLKATA: The politics of confrontation in West Bengal has taken a new turn with the Trinamool Congress leadership having decided that no Union Minister from the party will share the dais at any event with Ministers of the Left Front government.

That such a decree is indeed being conformed to, was in evidence here on Tuesday when Minister of State for Shipping Mukul Roy walked out of the 122nd annual general meeting of the Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, where two Ministers from the State were present.

Much to the surprise of many present — both on the dais and the floor — Mr. Roy left the stage on which were seated, among others, State Minister for Industries Nirupam Sen and Urban Development Minister Ashok Bhattacharya.

It was learnt later that Mr. Roy had done so in deference to his party’s edict.Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee has never missed an occasion to be critical of the Left Front government. Her most recent refrain is that the government in the State has forfeited the “moral” right to remain in power, given the reversals Left parties have suffered in recent elections in the State.

It could be that Mr. Roy chose to leave the stage in view of the decision, said Partha Chatterjee, Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly and senior Trinamool leader.

Mr. Sen, while confessing that he was not in the know of Trinamool’s decision, told journalists after the event, that if it were indeed so, “it is very unfortunate.”

Such an act (of leaving the stage when a meeting is underway) is “not expected” of a Union Minister, Mr. Sen said.

The ruling Left Front may have been opposed to the ruling party at the Centre, Ministers of the Centre and the State being on the stage together, at an event, was never “problem”, he remarked.