‘Gujarat’ gets Mamata's goat

Mention of charkha from Gujarat angers Mamata as she hates Gujarat being brought up even in casual conversation

By Subhasish Chaudhuri in Ranaghat
  • Published 10.01.19, 1:48 AM
  • Updated 10.01.19, 9:22 AM
  • a min read
The charkas that were bought from Gujarat are not available in Bengal. (Shutterstock)

An official of the West Bengal Khadi and Village Industries Board earned the wrath of Mamata Banerjee when he brought up Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at her administrative review meeting in Nadia on Wednesday.

The Nadia district official of the board was responding to a question from the Bengal chief minister regarding the progress of the work on Muslin Teertha, a hub being set up by the state government for the traditional fabric.

A. Mandal, the district khadi officer, said: “Madam, we have brought some charkas from Gujarat. We are arranging training for the weavers.”

A visibly agitated Mamata cut him short. “Kay apnakey Gujarat thekey charka antey bolechhey? Ekhaney ki charka hoy na? (Who told you to get charkas from Gujarat? Are charkas not made here)?” Mamata asked Mandal.

The official kept quiet.

Sources in the ruling establishment said it was not the first time that the mention of the western state agitated Mamata and she didn’t like any comparisons between Bengal and Gujarat. “She believes everything about the so-called Gujarat Model is a hoax and the model itself is a sham. She hates Gujarat being brought up even in casual conversation,” said a Trinamul source.

However, a senior official of the micro, small and medium enterprises department looking after handloom said: “The charkas that we bought from Gujarat are not available in our state. It is a specially made hand-operated device made of fine bamboo.”

The board’s chairman, Gourishankar Dutta, said: “I was not aware of the decision.”