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In keeping with her govt’s zero tolerance policy against any form of criticism of her style of functioning, Poschim Bongo CM Mamata Banerjee ordered the arrest of veteran Bengali journalist Sougato Bandopadhyay for writing in his weekly political column that “Mamata Didi was the best thing to have happened to Poschim Bongo.”
Didi felt the comments were highly sarcastic and directed the authorities to book the hapless journalist for defaming her. Bandopadhyay’s plea that he was genuinely praising her resulted in his being charge-sheeted for ‘deception and insidious prevarication’ as well.
Justifying the arrest, TMC spokesperson and former quiz master Derek O’Brien said, “[Sougato] crossed all limits of propriety with that sarcastic comment of his. Didi is highly upset that people are now using literary techniques such as satire to run her down. This should serve as a warning that such vile and subtle humour will not be tolerated by the TMC regime.”
On the other hand, The Unreal Times Kolkata correspondent Diwakar Chatterjee won high praise from the CM for opining that “the TMC Government is a big joke.”
“Diwakar was earnest and stated the truth. I like such chaps, especially those who lack a sense of humour,” said Mamata, leaving TMC MLAs, who were otherwise baying for his blood, nonplussed. The Unreal Times print edition will now be included among a few select newspapers to be stocked in state run and state funded libraries.
Didi is also taking systematic steps to eliminate all festering symbols of communism from not just the state but the national landscape as well. Days after banning Marx and Socialism from the prescribed school syllabus (most likely to be replaced by Mark and Social Networking), Didi went a step further by barring veteran BJP leader L K Advani from entering the state because his name begins with ‘Lal’.
Shri Advani reacted to the developments philosophically, blogging, “The Left kept me at bay because they perceived me to be communal. Any now, Mamata shuns me because my name sounds communist. Politics can sometimes be so unforgiving. He Ram.”