A day after Trinamool Congress leader Sovan Chatterjee resigned from his Cabinet posts, his estranged wife Ratna claimed his resignation was the result of “negligence” towards his work.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Ratna said, “The chief minister doesn’t like anyone who is negligent towards his work. She tried her best to scold him and make him realise, but her efforts were taken in the wrong spirit by Sovan.” She further claimed that since he had shifted to another flat, Sovan would spend not more than two to three hours at the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) office.
After announcing his resignation, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said that Sovan had wanted to step down from his posts on four previous occasions.
Shortly before his resignation was announced, he had apparently stated wrong figures during a question-answer session in Assembly, following which Mamata had to correct him. Sources had also said that the Trinamool Congress was displeased by the “public nature” of his marital dispute.
“Mamata Banerjee wasn’t comfortable with the way Sovan left his family. However, that was his personal matter, so he continued to be on the post. But when she noticed him not concentrating on his work, that created an issue,” claimed Ratna, who is also a TMC worker.
She also recalled the 2016 Assembly polls, when the TMC had performed well in Kolkata and South 24 Parganas under Sovan. She said Mamata had been happy with his performance and appointed him as Kolkata Mayor in addition to his Cabinet portfolios of housing and fire and emergency services. He was also appointed as the party in-charge of South 24 Parganas and Kolkata.
“Sovan must remember it was ‘didi’ who gave him his first election ticket. She made him what he is today. If ‘didi’ questioned him on his bad performance, he should have understood her concern instead of showing ego,” said Ratna.
When asked about the possibility of Sovan joining any another party. Ratna said, “It won’t be shocking if he does so… But if he does so, that would be the end of everything he has.”
“Every year, Sovan and I used to attend Didi’s Kali puja and he would also go to her house in Bhai Phonta. But this time, he didn’t attend any of them, which upset her,” she claimed.
Ratna also claimed that Sovan’s exit would not affect the party as his alleged relationship with another woman, following his separation from his wife, had been giving the TMC a bad name.
“The party’s image was being tarnished by Sovan’s personal life. Him leaving the ministry will not affect the party. Mamata Banerjee is a one-man army. If she can make his career, she can do the same with any other person as well.”
Responding to such allegations, Sovan told a TV channel, “There is no truth in what is being said. My separation is pending in court. Those who are dragging her name are trying to turn their face from the truth… It is very unfortunate that her name is being dragged into this.”
A close relative of the woman in question said, “Lots of untrue things are being said about them… She has no role in his resignation.”
Sovan further alleged that his wife has been running a company and taking loans from banks.
Denying such allegations, Ratna said she will move court against her husband on Thursday for making such claims. “He is simply lying to cover up his mistakes. I do own a company but it was never used to take loans from banks and engage in unethical activities,” she told reporters.