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Image: Baisakhi Banerjee (left), Sovan Chatterjee, and Ratna Chatterjee in file photographs.  

Kolkata: TRINAMOOL minister and Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee has vowed to stand by “family friend” Baisakhi Banerjee, a relationship with whom is said to have pushed his marriage and political life into turbulence.

The Mayor has claimed that both he and his estranged wife Ratna Chatterjee have “taken help from Baisakhi numerous times.” The claim has, however, been rubbished by his estranged wife.

“Baisakhi has never been our family friend and I don’t even want to hear about her in the future either. I have never ever approached her for help. I will rather die before doing so,” she told reporters within hours of the Mayor holding a news conference today to clear the air on the on-going controversy.

Baisakhi Banerjee is a teacher of political science and the teacher-in-charge of Milli Al-Ameen College for Girls at Beniapukur in the city. Until recently, she was the state general secretary of Trinamool affiliated West Bengal College & University Professors’ Association (WBCUPA).

The committee has been dissolved and the Mayor’s estranged wife’s complaint to Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee is speculated to have played a role in this.

Referring to this, the Mayor today said: “But for Baisakhi backing me in this current phase of crisis, my very existence would have been in question. WBCUPA committee has been dissolved recently and Baisakhi has been dropped. If this has happened because of her standing by me, it should be rectified at once. I will not accept any harm to Baisakhi because she has kept me afloat.”

Chatterjee said that Mamata Banerjee called him up yesterday and asked him to focus on his responsibilities as minister and Mayor. “She didn’t refer to Baisakhi even once. All the unfounded stories are being spread by a section of the media.”

The Mayor has also ruled out the possibility of reconciliation with his estranged wife. “There is absolutely no chance of reconciliation after the way I have been duped. Had there been no substantial reason, I would not have ended 24 years of married life. Now, I am not sure, even if my dead body will ever enter that house (ancestral Behala house where wife lives) again,” he said.

Ever since filing the divorce suit in November last year, the Mayor has been living in a flat at Golpark area in the city. He filed an FIR at Rabindra Sarovar police station yesterday saying that he might be attacked in the flat.