West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and his wife Sudesh Dhankhar visited Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s home on Kali Puja on Sunday, on the latter’s invitation.
They reached her home around 6:45 pm. They were greeted by Banerjee, after which she took the couple to her room. Later, she took them to the place where the puja was being held.
This is the first time they met after a series of acrimonious exchanges between the Governor and leaders of the ruling party for the past few months. State higher education minister Partha Chatterjee has been the most vocal in expressing anguish and anger at the Governor’s statements and some of the steps he has taken, including “rescuing” Union minister of state Babul Supriyo from Jadavpur University. He had also said he had been sidelined and “blacked out” during the Durga Puja Carnival where he was invited but not shown during the live telecast.
However, at Banerjee’s place, the Governor and Chatterjee greeted each other heartily and exchanged pleasantries. Several senior officers of the West Bengal government and Trinamool Congress leaders were also present at Banerjee’s home. Speaker Biman Banerjee was also present. There were home-made sweets and music playing.
The chief minister served tea to the Governor and his wife. Later, both of them were present at the aarati.
Later, the Governor said that he was very pleased with the hospitality of the chief minister. Dhankhar spent nearly two hours at Banerjee’s residence.
The governor had in fact wanted to visit her place on Bhatridwitiya – which is considered an auspicious day for brothers and sisters.
Banerjee invited him on Kali Puja instead as she said that she usually remains busy in upholding communal harmony on Bhatridwitiya every year.
“Anyone who comes to a Puja comes with a pure heart and leaves with a purer heart,” the Governor said later. He said he and his felt “blessed” to attend the puja that had been organised at her home since 1978. He was also happy to be served home made sweets made of molasses and not sugar.