Kolkata : Breaking the ice after three years, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday personally called up her predecessor and arch-foe Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to invite him to the 17th Kolkata film festival starting Thursday.
This is the first time the film festival is being held after Bhattacharjee demitted office following the Left Front’s rout in the April-May assembly elections. The festival is considered Bhattacharjee’s brainchild.
Banerjee told Bhattacharjee, an avid film buff, “it will make me happy if you come for the inauguration”. However, the former chief minister cited pre-occupation with another programme which will keep him away.
Banerjee told him that she will send an invitation for him and his wife and daughter.
The two leaders, known for their deep dislike for each other, seldom see eye to eye, literally.
The two had last spoken to each other Sep 12, 2008, when they held a failed round of talks at the Calcutta Information Centre at the height of the Singur crisis. Days before that, Banerjee – then spearheading the anti land acquisition movement against the Tata Nano plant at Singur, and Bhattacharjee had first met at the Raj Bahvan during talks brokered by then governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi
At her swearing in May 13, Banerjee had greeted the former chief minister in traditional Indian style.