Mamata Asks WhatsApp to Change Settings; No One Can Quit Mahagathbandhan Group Without Her Permission


Mamata Asks WhatsApp to Change Settings; No One Can Quit Mahagathbandhan Group Without Her Permission

Illustration: Ahmed Sikander


West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee wants to take full control of the Mahagathbandhan WhatsApp group created by her earlier this year. After a huge argument over who should be cropped out from the display picture that features 20-plus leaders, Didi has demanded that that without her acknowledgement, no member of the Mahagathbandhan group should be able quit the WhatsApp group until next government at the center is formed.

“We are surprised to see WhatsApp admins do not already have that privilege,” said Priyambrata Chatterjee, general secretary of TMC, considered a close aide of the West Bengal chief minister. “Yesterday Arvind Kejriwal left the group. Despite repeated signals from Arvind, the Congress friendzoned him and declared that they do not want to start a relationship with AAP in Delhi.”

“If one by one leaders start leaving the group like this, how will we form the next government at the centre? Eventually it will just be me and Didi left in the group sending each other good morning and birthday wishes,” said Mr Chatterjee.

That’s why the TMC boss has submitted a memorandum to WhatsApp CEO, asking him to change the ‘admin rights’ for Mahagathbandhan group. “If WhatsApp does not fall in line with what we ask for, we will ban them in West Bengal,” Mr Chatterjee said.

There will be a few more restrictions in the Mahagathbandhan group. “Terms like Saradha and Rose Valley are completely banned. Even rose emoji won’t be tolerated. If someone use such terms during any discussion, he or she should be ready to face the consequences as Mamata di never forgets such people.”

On the question of when the Mahagathbandhan manifesto would be released, a leader replied: “First two critical points have been agreed upon. We oppose Modi. We oppose Amit Shah. We will share the rest before election campaigning begins. Isme jaldi kya hai? And tell me who reads a manifesto before going to vote in India?”

Going by Didi’s mood on the group, some leaders planning to join it are re-thinking whether it would be prudent to do so. “I do not want to be another Abhimanyu of Mahabharat. I should be allowed to exit on my own terms,” said a leader.

Meanwhile, a few leaders already part of the group have approached Robert Vadra to ask if he can rescue them. “If it is a case of buying some real estate office space or some land, even few cells of the jail, he could have helped. WhatsApp is too costly, buying that is not possible for him,” said Ravi Dubey, a close friend of Robert Vadra.