Writers’ Building is a happy place. The ‘boss’ has at last lived up to her name and shown some compassion. After a month of scorching pace, when chief minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee, left on her first trip to New Delhi after assuming office, the babus got a breather.
“I am giving you respite for three days,” Banerjee herself had remarked, half in jest, before leaving on Monday.The chief minister has been keeping a hectic schedule since she took oath on May 20. That day, the cabinet meeting went on well past midnight. Thereafter, seldom did she go home before 10 pm.
“After a month, I am going home a little early,” said a senior official in the finance department. “Didi and finance minister Amit Mitra are in New Delhi.”
On Tuesday, the usual frantic activity in front of the chief minister’s chamber was missing. Everybody — from officials and staff to her cabinet colleagues — seemed to be enjoying the break.
The Kolkata Police personnel, stationed on security duty, were in a visibly relaxed mood too.
But the most relaxed, perhaps, were hospital superintendents in and around the city. Over the last month, Banerjee had made five surprise visits to hospitals. A visit to the Bangur Institute of Neurology had resulted in the suspension of the superintendent.
Banerjee’s extra long office hours have elicited ridicule from her political opponents.
“If she continues working till 10 pm at the secretariat, the wives and children of bureaucrats would soon begin an agitation against her,”
former housing development minister Gautam Deb had said recently.