An injury Mamata Banerjee suffered to her left knee during her Spain visit last week might compel the chief minister to miss the Trinamul Congress's protest programmes in Delhi next week, in which case her nephew Abhishek Banerjee would solely lead the events.
Sources in Trinamul said nothing had been finalised yet with regard to Mamata’s absence from the Delhi programmes to press the Centre for the release of funds due to Bengal and the chief minister remained “very keen” to attend the protests. But advice from a panel of senior physicians on Sunday evening has thrown yet another spanner in the party’s plans around Gandhi Jayanti.
The protest plan — conceived by the aunt-nephew duo in March — has already undergone several changes.
“As we all know, she went (on Sunday evening) to the SSKM Hospital’s Woodburn Block for a check-up by a panel of physicians following the Spain-UAE tour, and a series of tests, including an MRI, was conducted on her,” said a Trinamul MP, who has a key role in organising the Delhi programmes next week.
“The seniors in the hospital — some of the finest physicians in the country — said she suffered an injury to her already-injured left knee last week during the trip. She has been advised 10 days of rest under regular medical supervision…. We do not want to risk further damage, although she remains very keen to go,” he added.
In July, the chief minister had undergone a microsurgery to reduce pain in the left knee, following an injury while getting out of a helicopter in June. The ligament injury suffered in June had forced Mamata to sit out of the final phases of the campaign for the July 8 panchayat election.
“She is our party's and government’s lifeblood. We cannot risk having more damage done to her health for these protest programmes when she has to spearhead our extensive campaign for the Lok Sabha election from January or so,” said a senior cabinet colleague.
“In her absence, our national general secretary (Abhishek) would lead the programmes alone.'He is quite capable,” he added.