West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (file photo)
- The highly anticipated Oxford Union debate was called off at the last minute, Mamata Banerjee was a confirmed speaker
- Like the Chicago event in 2018, the Oxford Union debate was called off at the last minute on suspicion of “foul play”
- Oxford Union apologizes to Chief Minister, blames circumstances on cancellation
Calcutta: In a sudden and unprecedented development, the renowned Oxford Union debate, which was due to take place on Wednesday afternoon, in which West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was a confirmed speaker, has now been called off for the day at the very last minute, declaring “unforeseen and inevitable circumstances.” “.
Mamata Banerjee was approached last July and was invited to participate in the global debate. The planning of his presence was worked for more than three months. She would have been the first Indian woman leader and also chief executive to participate in the prestigious debate since its inception in 1823.
As the Honorable West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was due to address the Oxford Union Debating Society this afternoon, organizers suddenly called for the program to be postponed and rescheduled at the last moment. The request has been made by telephone since the end of the organizers, citing unforeseen problems some time ago. The program with Oxford Union is now canceled, “the statement from the office of the chief minister read ( CMO).
Ms. Banerjee was to attend the event virtually. The last-minute development has left many with suspicion whether there had been any foul play, as this is not the first time that an international event involving the Chief Minister of West Bengal has been called off at the last minute.
Previously, in July 2018, Mamata Banerjee was invited to attend the Parliament of World Religions marking the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s historic speech, but this event was surreptitiously canceled by the Vivekananda Vedanta Society of the Ramkrishna mission, invoking ” unforeseen difficulties ”. Mamata Banerjee later alleged that the Chicago event was called off due to “evil forces threatening the organizers”, calling it an “unholy plot”.
TMC executives then alleged that workers from the RSS and other right-wing Hindu organizations planned to hold a protest in Chicago and threatened unrest if Mamata Banerjee attended the Swami Vivekananda event.
There are two eerie similarities between the Chicago event and Wednesday’s Oxford Union debate, aside from the fact that they were both called off at the last minute, are – 1: at both events, Mamata Banerjee was a guest and 2: both events were ahead of the elections.
The 2018 Chicago event was ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in which Mamata Banerjee was one of the strongest voices against Prime Minister Modi and the Oxford Union debate, Wednesday’s debate is ahead of the 2021 West Bengal polls that Mamata Banerjee faces and also gives the BJP a tough challenge. This fueled suspicions whether these were strange coincidences or, like in Chicago, the Oxford event was called off due to alleged influence or coercion. “Are they afraid of me? Mamata Banerjee’s first reaction was when she was informed of the cancellation less than two hours before the event, said a source close to the chief minister. According to this source, “Didi smiled and shrugged his shoulders. as if it was planned. “
The Oxford Union Debate Society has yet to release an official statement, but the union president suddenly fell ill, had a fever, this was communicated to the Chief Minister’s office. The Oxford Union president sent a note of apology to the Principal Secretary to Mamata’s government on Wednesday at 2:14 p.m., sixteen minutes before Ms Banerjee was supposed to virtually attend the event, saying “nothing trumps the circumstances, it seems “. The apology note, however, hopes that the event will be rescheduled soon and which Ms. Banerjee will attend at her convenience.
Experts fear that after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement on Indian farmers’ protests against the controversial Farm Bills, the Union government is wary of “unsolicited” attention from the international community. Sources close to the Chief Minister claimed that Mamata Banerjee was not supposed to address the raging issue of farmer unrest in the Global Platform, given the Nation’s reputation and nationalist sentiment, but she was to speak out on democratic rights, the federal structure and secularism. harmony.
“She is the chief minister and not a random politician. She is responsible for all of her actions, and they also involve the constitutional office that she occupies. She can never say anything that embarrasses India but it could be. a matter of concern if the event was called off due to outside influence or interference, ”said the source who was with the chief minister when the Oxford Union communication arrived.
Mamata Banerjee has yet to release any statement, nor has her party, the Trinamool Congress. But it left many people seething with anger if Mamata Banerjee’s second world event was called off to save someone or a political party from “global embarrassment” for the second time. The Oxford Union has a legacy of speakers that include US President Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton; British Prime Ministers Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, David Cameron and Theresa May; legends like Albert Einstein, Michael Jackson and the Dalai Lama. Mamata Banerjee’s name could have been on the same list had the event not been canceled on Wednesday.