West Bengal has landed in a constitutional crisis on account of Mamata Banerjee’s confrontational attitude. In what exposes a clear attempt by Mamata Banerjee to elicit sympathy for herself my nation has reported that the West Bengal chief minister, Mamata Banerjee had sent potfuls of piping hot chicken biryani for the media contingent waiting outside while she was sitting on dharna.
The biryani packets were brought from a popular and iconic outlet, Shiraz Golden Restaurant which was established way back in 1941. The recipe of the biryani served to the journalists also has a little history of its own. The recipe was invented by a chef called Shamshuddin bawarchi (chef) in 1972. The legend goes that Shamshuddin was from the bloodline of the chefs that served Wajid Ali Shah, the tenth nawab of Awadh.
Under usual circumstances, this might have been understood as a courtesy call. But the recent turn of events in the state of West Bengal suggests otherwise. It seems to be an attempt to win over the journalists working all night. The CBI team was doing its job when Mamata Banerjee and the West Bengal government started interfering without any rhyme or reason. In fact, the CBI had only intended to question the Kolkata Police Commissioner, Rajeev Kumar in connection with the Saradha chit fund cases in which several TMC leaders are said to have been involved. As per a CBI official, its move to question Rajeev Kumar was aimed at finding “crucial evidence” linked to the “larger conspiracy” behind the chit fund scams in the state. As per the CBI officials, Kumar had led the Special Investigation Team of the West Bengal police investigating the chit fund scams. He had to be questioned about the missing documents and files but he was not responding to notices to appear before the CBI. However, the West Bengal chief minister started creating hurdles in the path of the premier probe agency instead of being co-operative with it.
The manner in which the CBI team was detained and the state of West Bengal was brought into a position of the breakdown of constitutional machinery exposed the dictatorial attitude of Mamata Banerjee. In such circumstances, there is not much to argue in favour of Mamata Banerjee. The West Bengal chief minister is clearly at fault for hindering the proper process of investigation taken up by the CBI. In order to shield the Kolkata Police Commissioner and those involved in the Saradha chit fund scam, she took the entire state by ransom. With this, she invited a lot of criticism for herself among the people of the state. And the public opinion has started becoming adverse for her.
The West Bengal chief minister probably inferred that her confrontational attitude and the constitutional crisis that she had herself created won’t go down with the people of the state and therefore serving piping hot biryani to the journalists seems to be an attempt to keep them in good humour. She understands that at this critical juncture, the media must be patronised. Mamata Banerjee seems to know fully well that if the media starts exposing her irresponsible and autocratic methods of functioning, then she could land in deep trouble when the country goes to polls in the near future. The way she is trying to patronise the media goes on to show that Mamata Banerjee is rather concerned about her political survival.