“Mamata stole his wife”, “a honey trapped husband” – the very public love life of Bengal politicians

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Illustration: Soham Sen

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Calcutta: Several bed-mates distant from Bengal politics have recently embarrassed their leaders with marital – and extra-marital – shenanigans in public.

Nearly half a dozen politicians, mostly from Trinamool Congress, don’t seem to have heard of the idiom “behind closed doors” as their marriage and relationships take place on social media – post by post .

The first to show his heart was the former minister of Trinamool and mayor of Kolkata, Sovan Chatterjee. In love with a political science professor, he left his wife Ratna, now an MP, and their two children towards the end of 2017. He also filed for divorce from his 23-year-old wife.

Chatterjee moved in with his friend and teacher Baisakhi Banerjee – and became “so immersed in his personal affairs” that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee quickly removed him from all his posts, including minister.

Several months ago, a BJP deputy choked back tears on live television and announced his decision to divorce his wife “within 48 hours” for joining the Trinamool Congress. Deputy Sumitra Khan sent him the divorce papers the next day.

Khan and his wife Sujata Mondal had worked together in Congress, then jumped to BJP, which sent Khan to Parliament.

Two years later, before the 2021 Assembly elections, Sujata was back in Trinamool and Khan – almost crying – accused Mamata Banerjee of robbing his wife.

He snorted, “We fought over some issues like all husbands and wives do, but trust me, I have never looked at another woman in the past 10 years.”

Although Sujata lost the assembly elections, she handed an olive branch to her husband – again, on television – and asked him to return to Trinamool to save the marriage.

If Mamata’s former devotee, Mukul Roy, could be back, her husband too “might realize his mistakes in joining the BJP.”

A burning Sumitra reacted, saying he would never return to the Trinamool.

Newly elected Trinamool MP Kanchan Mullick also spoke this week after his wife actress Pinki Banerjee accused him of adultery. The actor turned politician addressed his wife via the media and asked for “freedom”. “I will take care of our son but spare myself the false accusations,” he told him in the media.

The marital problems of the Trinamool Congress have also reached Parliament. Less than two years after taking the oath, resplendent as a new bride wearing sindoor, MP Nusrat Jahan Ruhi is now trying to say her marriage was a “living” relationship at best.

Separated from her “husband” Nikhil Jain for several months, the actress turned politician has explained her “position”, amid rumors that she liked a co-star.

She released a statement to the media claiming that her “marriage” to Nikhil Jain took place in Turkey and was not registered in India. She claimed that her “marriage” was therefore not valid here.

This claim was hotly contested by Nikhil Jain as well as BJP lawmakers who said she was sworn in as Nusrat Jahan Ruhi Jain, and parliamentary records show her as married. Will Nusrat’s case end up in the ethics committee? Next article.


Read also : Love in Congress, “divorce” at BJP – story of a Bengali couple separated by politics


The interminable Sovan-Baisakhi saga

Sovan-Baisakhi’s evergreen pair dropped another Facebook bombshell in people’s living rooms over the weekend.

Implying that part of his land was being misappropriated by his in-laws, Chatterjee gave Baisakhi power of attorney to execute all matters relating to the property. He said he also made a will in her name because she was the only “trustworthy” person in his life. “I give you this dignity in this relationship,” he addressed to her in the streaming episode, two-part session titled “The Truth Behind the Veil”.

On the same day, Baisakhi created a Facebook page called “Baisakhi Sovan Banerjee”. She said it was a “joint account to communicate with our audience”. “This page says ‘I’ has become ‘we’,” Chatterjee said.

Behala East MP and Sovan’s ex-wife Ratna Chatterjee have said she will go to court against the ruling.

She fumed: “Baisakhi stayed with my husband to take over his property. She wants to deprive the legitimate heirs of Sovan Chatterjee.

Ratna also claimed that her husband had been “honey-trapped” and could be “murdered” for the property.

Baisakhi retaliated, saying she contacted Kolkata police to protect against such threats. “It is a person with a big heart to have made the gesture of proxy,” she added.

Chatterjee’s son, Rishi, questioned the legal standing of his father’s decision. He called his father “selfish”, who only thought about his “love life”.

Chatterjee’s stepfather and Trinamool MP Maheshtala Dulal Das said: “Sovan is not going anywhere by depriving his children.” Das criticized Chatterjee for “taking Baisakhi’s last name” from the joint Facebook page – “Baisakhi Sovan Banerjee”. “In Indian tradition, a wife takes the surname of a husband,” Das said.

He called on the population to denounce this life relationship, otherwise “societal standards will collapse”. “Families are going to fall apart,” he said.

Chatterjee and Ratna’s divorce is pending in court. In her affidavit for the 2021 election, Ratna had mentioned Chatterjee as her husband.

Chatterjee left Trinamool with Baisakhi ahead of the 2019 general election and returned to his alma mater ahead of the 2021 parliamentary election. His partner followed him. Both resigned from the BJP because they were denied tickets in state polls, depending on their constituency choices.

In May, Chatterjee was arrested in the Narada corruption case along with other Trinamool leaders, Firhad Hakim, Subrata Mukherjee and Madan Mitra. He was then released on bail.

Trinamool Congress responds

While Trinamool’s management has remained silent about the rest of the pack, lovebirds Chatterjee and Baisakhi have become quite “irritating.”

Trinamool State Secretary General Kunal Ghosh said he would not comment on others because “the party has nothing to do with the personal issues of couples.”

“But the Sovan-Baisakhi saga hangs from a circus trapeze,” Ghosh said. The leader said the duo had frequently “hung out on behalf of Mamata Banerjee” or unnecessarily made the party “part of their personal problems”.

“A few days ago, they even made BJP part of their personal woes. It is not desirable for us, ”Ghosh said, adding that the two had become an“ eyesore to all parties ”.


Read also : Rise of the Bhaipo – what Mamata’s hat-trick could mean for nephew Abhishek Banerjee


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