‘Count me as your sister’: Mamata Banerjee turns to Amartya Sen amid ‘land grabbing’ charges

West Bengal Prime Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote to Amartya Sen on Friday, expressing solidarity with the Nobel Prize after his name appeared among those allegedly occupying land belonging to the prestigious Visva-Bharati University, according to the ANI news agency. . In an apparent reference to the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Banerjee wrote that some “new invaders” in Visva-Bharati “have begun to raise surprising and completely unfounded accusations”.

“I am writing this letter to express my surprise and distress at some recent developments, as I read about them in the media, alluding to your ancestral ties to Santiniketan,” Banerjee said in his letter to Senator Banerjee. with Santiniketan, the seat of the Visva-Bharati University, stating that it is a family “intertwined in the culture and fabric of Santiniketan, inalienably”.

Doing a veiled dig at the BJP, Banerjee also noted how “saddened” she is by these “surprising and unfounded” allegations about Sen’s family property. She added that she wanted to express her solidarity with him in his battles against “majoritarian bigotry” in the country. . The West Bengal CM then urged Sen to consider her “sister and friend”, adding that he should not be deterred by these allegations. “We will overcome,” he said in his letter.

Banerjee’s letter to Sen comes the day after she was accused by the BJP of “skipping” the university’s centenary celebrations, to which Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed. The Prime Minister’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) responded by saying she was “not invited” to the ceremony.

The incident has emerged as the latest sticking point between the two sides as the BJP aims to defeat the TMC in next year’s assembly polls to end Banerjee’s 10-year tenure as prime minister and, in the process, form his first government in West Bengal.

Visva-Bharati University was founded on December 23, 1924 by the first Indian Nobel laureate, Rabindranath Tagore.