'My wedding card had Subratada's name as guardian'

Kolkata: Subrata Mukherjee's inherent nature to stand beside party colleagues, even in their personal lives, got reflected when his name was printed as "guardian" of former MP Jayanta Bhattacharya in the invitation card of the latter's wedding in the year 1975.

Bhattacharya, who is at present 73 years old, was treasurer when Mukherjee was president of the Chhatra Parishad (CP). Bhattacharya is one of the oldest political leaders to have been introduced to politics by Mukherjee.

Recollecting the days of the late 1960s and early 70s, Bhattacharya – who at present stays in his Girish Park house — said it was none other than Mukherjee who held his hand when he came from Cooch Behar to study Law at the Calcutta University.

"I was president of the Chhatra Parishad of Cooch Behar district while studying at Dinhata College. I came in touch with Subratada while studying Law at Calcutta University. The political scenario was not so calm then. Killing of leaders (by the Naxals) was quite common. Subratada's attitude was also very tough and we used to follow him as our elder brother," Bhattacharya recollected. Bhattacharya, who got elected as Congress MP from Tamluk in 1996 and later elected to the Rajya Sabha as an Independent candidate backed by the Trinamool Congress, became CP president in 1975. He was preceded by Kumud Bhattacharya and Mukherjee as presidents.

In the same year, Bhattacharya got married to Arundhuti who was also a Law student at Calcutta University. There was the need for someone to stand as the guardian for Bhattacharya's marriage. "It was none other than Subratada who came forward and assured all support. It was his name that was printed as guardian on our wedding card. For me Subratada's spouse Chandobani Mukherjee was like a mother," said Bhattacharya.

It was Mukherjee who had taken up the entire responsibility of Bhattacharya's marriage and even selected the menu for his reception.

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