KOLKATA: West Bengal BJP has decided to sell Meghalaya Governor and former BJP national executive member Tathagata Roy's book on Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder Shyama Prasad Mookerjee at the Kolkata Book Fair after the Publishers and Booksellers' Guild refused to approve the proposal of former Tripura Governor Roy for a book session slot on February 4 and instead awarded it to the environment department of the State.
Tathagata Roy, known to be a bitter critic of Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal, claimed that the authorities backtracked after first giving verbal approval to the slot but later cancelled stating 'unavoidable circumstances'.
"I had spoken to the guild secretary and he had given assurance for booking of the slot. But now he has backtracked. It is disappointing. But nevertheless, I would be present there on February 4 for a couple of hours to interact with readers and sign a few copies of my book," Tathagata Roy said.
The Meghalaya Governor's book 'Bharatkeshari Yugpurush Shyamaprasad', a life sketch and political critique on Mookerjee, was released earlier last month. Speaking on the cancellation, Guild general secretary Tridib Chatterjee said: "We could not allot the slot to Governor Roy as it had been allotted to others."
Sources revealed that there might have been some miscommunication in the verbal request for booking and the guild authorities mistook the request only for book launch while Roy sought time also for book reading, debates and discussion. The confusion increased after the guild authorities came to know that the book was already launched in January 3 and Roy's written request also did not come, after which they thought that the Governor might not be needing the slot anymore.
However, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh has called this as vendetta politics of the state government. "This is completely vendetta politics and we protest this by selling the books from our stalls," he said.
Trinamool Congress secretary general and spokesperson Partha Chatterjee did not respond to calls and texts on the issue. The state government had earlier refused permission to BJP President Amit Shah's helicopter to land at Malda Airport on January 22 and arranged for landing near his hotel. BJP and TMC supporters clashed and resorted to vandalism after a public meeting of Amit Shah at Kanthi in Purba Medinipur district on January 29.
BJP, TMC tug-of-war
January 19: 'United India' mega rally of 24 parties in Brigade Parade Grounds in Kolkata calling for oust of Modi government
January 22: Amit Shah's helicopter denied permission to land at Malda Airport citing repair works
January 23: Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani's helicopter denied permission to land at public rally site in Jhargram and made to land at Kalaikunda Air Force Station 40 km away and travel three hours to and back from site by road. Irani misses second public rally in Birbhum as helicopter could not land due to low daylight
January 24: CBI arrests Tollywood producer Shrikant Mohta for his alleged involvement in chit-fund scams of West Bengal and taken into 14 day custody in Bhubaneswar. TMC fearing his confidential statement might cause problems to other accused TMC leaders
January 28: ED attaches Rs 239 crore property of TMC MP K D Singh for a money laundering probe into the Rs 1,900 crore chit-fund scam
January 29: TMC workers vandalise buses carrying BJP supporters to Amit Shah's rally in Kanthi in Purba Medinipur during his speech; BJP workers retaliate by vandalising local TMC party office.