Kurtas and Bengali mithai: Is Modi trying to reach out to Mamata Banerjee?
New Delhi, Apr 25: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday made a startling revelation in a 'non-political interaction' with Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar.
During the interview, the Prime Minister said West Bengal Chief Minister and his arch-rival Mamata Banerjee share a decent relationship off-the-political-stage. Modi said Mamata 'didi' sends him personally-selected kurtas and Bengali sweets every year. "Even today Mamata didi herself selects one-two kurtas for me. She sends one-two kurtas every year," he said.
The mentioning of sweet and kurta diplomacy may hint at a future where Mamata Banerjee and Narendra Modi would come close to share power. However, it can also be seen as a tactic ploy to create the space for a possible BJP-TMC tieup post May 23, when counting will be held in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Despite Mamata Banerjee being a vehement critic of the Modi government and has tried to form an anti-Modi front for the Lok Sabha elections 2019, one should not forget that in the year 1991, long before she became the Bengal chief minister and right after she quit the Congress to form Trinamool Congress, Mamata Banerjee had joined BJP-led NDA. She then became the Railway Minister in the NDA government.
Later on, she quit the NDA to contest the state elections in alliance with Congress. She then walked out of the alliance with Congress and went on to become the chief minister of Bengal.
Meanwhile, in a damage control mode, Trinamool Congress leaders had said that such courteous gestures are part of Didi's compassionate and warm-hearted nature and should not be seen through the prism of politics. According to Trinamool Congress leaders, Didi keeps sending former President Pranab Mukherjee the choicest mangoes, sweets and kurtas every year and whenever she visits him she takes sandesh.
It must be noted that Didi has played a crucial role in uniting the whole Opposition against the Modi-led Central government. She even organised and emceed a grand mahagathbandhan rally at Kolkata parade ground in January, 2019.