With political violence in West Bengal earning the Left Front government a bad name, the ruling Communists are keen on a truce with the Trinamool Congress. But with Mamata Banerjee consistently refusing to meet any Left Front minister, all peace overtures have failed. State housing minister Goutam Deb, who is close to the Chief Minister, took it upon himself to persuade the Trinamool Chief to meet his boss. Last weekend, he called up Mamata a few times and when his calls went unanswered, sent an SMS requesting a meeting. Nothing wrong with that, but for the fact that Deb made the calls after 10 pm and the SMS was sent about midnight. Trinamool leaders have now accused Deb of ‘unbecoming conduct’. “What nonsense is this? How can a person call a lady so late at night and send an SMS asking to meet her at midnight?” thunders legislator Partha Chatterjee. “Deb is known to make such late night calls to people and he doesn’t sound sober then,” says Mamata aide Madan Mitra. A red-faced Deb has, naturally, abandoned mediation efforts.
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