The former Trinamul heavyweight and KMC mayor Sovan Chatterjee who stepped into the active political arena yesterday for the first time after joining the BJP, made a scathing attack on the present mayor, Firhad Hakim, by calling him a ‘Pakistani’ in reference to a KMC uploaded map of India last year which did not feature Kashmir.

The rally led by Sovan Chatterjee and Baisakhi Bandopadhyay yesterday could be termed as the first political campaign by Chatterjee who disappeared from politics in 2018 after resigning from the portfolios, he was holding in the Mamata Banerjee government. Chatterjee minced no words in criticising Hakim, saying the latter is desperately trying to now refute people’s opinion who regard him as a “Pakistani”. “Presenting the Indian map without Kashmir talks a lot about his beliefs and allegiance” said Chatterjee.

The above comment is about a map of India uploaded by KMC last year on its Facebook page as part of Republic Day wishes which paved the way for controversy since it did not feature China occupied Aksai Chin and Pakistan occupied Kashmir. The post was however removed later.

In his rebuttal to Chatterjee’s remarks, Hakim said “He is speaking the language of the BJP who only believes in communalism. It is not absurd that one will speak the language of the group they belong to. He has no voice today but is saying what the saffron brigade wants him to say.”

The relationship between the one-time fellow party workers grew even bitter with Chatterjee alleging that ever since Hakim took charge as KMC mayor, he has only done damage to it and to the state. It may be noted that post Cyclone Amphan, Sovan was caustic in his criticisms against the way Hakim handled the preparatory measures before the cyclone hit the city and his allegations were also seconded by Trinamul leader Sadhan Pandey.

However, Mr. Hakim chose to brush aside the allegations and pointed out that “people will judge whether KMC has done a better job under my leadership.” Chatterjee stepped down from the post of KMC mayor in November 2018 following which Firhad Hakim took charge as the mayor after eleven days.