Former Kolkata mayor Sovan Chatterjee and his friend and close aid Baisakhi Banerjee did not attend BJP’s Bijoya Sammilani at Salt Lake on Sunday (November 22).

Baisakhi Banerjee, who was inducted in the party’s extended committee two months ago, decided not to attend after she received “a WhatsApp invitation at the final hour”.

Bengal BJP leaders, who were hopeful that issues had been sorted out after the duo met Union home minister Amit Shah in New Town two weeks back, expected their presence.

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Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh said, “It was an open invitation to everyone. It is up to the individual if he wants to attend a party programme.”

Bengal BJP co-minder Arvind Menon had gone to meet Sovan Chatterjee and Baisakhi Banerjee at the former’s Golpark residence on Friday (November 20) night.

Anupam Hazra, the party’s national secretary said, “They were not present at the Bijoya Sammilani. It is time they clarify their position. We were hopeful that they would become active after they met Amit Shah. It seems the efforts of BJP seniors are not yielding any results.”

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However, Baisakhi Banerjee said, “I was not invited primarily and that created some controversies A WhatsApp message was sent to me at the final hour after the mess was created. I am a small leader, but I cannot be made to feel smaller. Sovan Chatterjee also decided not to attend the event after the misgivings.”

Dilip Ghosh called up Banerjee late on Sunday. According to sources, they spoke on how Banerjee will take part in the campaign in the run-up to the assembly polls.