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Lessons in political courtesy in hug between Trinamul veteran Gautam Deb and BJP MP Raju Bista

Deb, who reached Siliguri Journalists’ Club on premises of Kanchenjunga Stadium of city, was surprised to see Bista walking into same venue

Our Correspondent Siliguri Published 15.02.24, 06:07 AM
Gautam Deb and Raju Bista greet each other at the Siliguri Journalists’ Club Saraswati Puja in Siliguri on Wednesday

Gautam Deb and Raju Bista greet each other at the Siliguri Journalists’ Club Saraswati Puja in Siliguri on Wednesday Passang Yolmo

A rare scene of bonhomie unfolded in Siliguri on Wednesday as Trinamul veteran and city mayor Gautam Deb and BJP Darjeeling MP Raju Bista met, hugged each other, exchanged pleasantries and insisted on healthy relationships cutting across political lines.

Deb, who reached the Siliguri Journalists’ Club on premises of the Kanchenjunga Stadium of the city, was surprised to see Bista walking into the same venue.


The club, which represents the media fraternity of Siliguri, had invited both on the occasion of Saraswati Puja.

Although arch-rivals in Darjeeling's political arena, the duo showed warmth as Bista hugged Deb and the latter quickly responded. They exchanged pleasantries and stood smiling as shutterbugs clicked photos.

After some time, Deb left the club while the MP walked inside the club and offered obeisance to the deity.

“It was a rare scene for all of us. They met by accident, as nothing was pre-planned,” said a senior club member.

Deb, while commenting about his brief meeting with the BJP MP, said two club members, who have their birthdays on Wednesday, asked him to join a small celebration arranged at the venue.

“As I joined them, the MP reached there. We greeted each other and had some formal talks. We are obviously political workers, but simultaneously, we should not abstain from greeting people from other political parties,” said the mayor.

Deb is known for his political courtesy.

In 2022, after he won ward 33 of the Siliguri Municipal Corporation at the civic polls, he reached the houses of the Left, Congress and BJP candidates who had contested against him.

“Gautamda met each of them and their family members on the very next day of the results. He also solicited their cooperation for the development of the ward. So political courtesy is not new for him,” said a Trinamul leader.

Bista also underscored that it was important to maintain good relationships with people who are from other political parties.

“We might represent different political parties and believe in different ideologies. During elections, we bicker with each other. However, it is the beauty of our country that despite such differences, we meet and greet each other as all of us are Indians,” said the MP.

The BJP lawmaker said that as he is junior to Deb and Asok Bhattacharya of the CPM, he often meets and speaks with them.

“I also speak with Papia Ghosh (the Darjeeling plains district Trinamul chief) and some other senior leaders on issues and invite them to certain events. This political culture should continue in Darjeeling district,” the BJP MP added.

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