Mamata meets BJP MP Anant Maharaj setting rumour mill buzzing

Maharaj alias Nagen Roy was cryptic about the implications of the meeting. “Let’s see what happens in future,” he told reporters after the meeting.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee
West Bengal CM Mamata BanerjeeFile photo

KOLKATA: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday met BJP Rajya Sabha MP Anant Maharaj at Coochbehar raising speculations about his possible switchover to the TMC.

Banerjee visited the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital in Siliguri to meet victims of the Kanchanjunga Express tragedy before arriving in Cooch Behar. A goods train hit the Sealdah-bound Kanchanjungha Express on Monday, killing nine people.

The meeting, seen as politically significant, lasted for around 35 minutes. Upon her arrival at the Chakchaka Palace, Maharaj alias Nagen Roy, welcomed the CM with a traditional scarf and ‘guwa paan’ (betel leaf). Before visiting Roy’s residence, Banerjee offered prayers at the Madan Mohan temple in the district headquarters town.

While the state BJP has yet to respond to this development, Roy was cryptic about the implications of the meeting. “Let’s see what happens in future,” he told reporters after the meeting.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) recently secured a significant victory in Cooch Behar, wresting the Lok Sabha seat from the BJP. TMC defeated the incumbent BJP MP, Nisith Pramanik, by nearly 40,000 votes. This election result has sparked speculation about potential new political alignments, given Roy’s influence over a substantial section of the Rajbongshi community in the region.

The TMC supremo’s visit has assumed significance as Anant Maharaj had turned rebel against the BJP after it announced its erstwhile Union Minister Nisith Pramanik as the Lok Sabha poll candidate.

Significance

TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee’s visit assumes significance as Anant Maharaj had turned rebel against the BJP after it announced Nisith Pramanik, former Union MoS, as its Lok Sabha candidate from Coochbehar. Maharaj is very influencial among the Rajbongshi community. The meeting between Mamata Banerjee and Maharaj lasted for 35 minutes.

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