An uncommon calm prevailed around West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee yesterday as she sat in her wheelchair at the Gandhi Murti in Kolkata in protest against her being banned from campaigning for 24 hours.
Amid the hullabaloo of the buzzing city, the otherwise feisty leader spent some silent hours practicing her brush strokes. Clad in her trademark white cotton sari with a black border, she also wrapped a black scarf around her neck, seemingly as a mark of protest. Then there was the black mask, too.
She arrived at Mayo Road, where the Gandhi stature is located, around 11:40 am and began her sit-in. The Trinamool leader was left alone, with not even party colleagues joining her.
Barricaded from the media, a canopy was raised for her dharna in protest against the Election Commission's decision to impose the ban on her from 8:00 pm on April 12 till 8:00 pm on April 13.
A few glances and some head nods are all that she had for media persons standing many feet away.
The poll panel on Monday banned her from campaigning for allegedly making "highly insinuating and provocative remarks laden with the serious potential of the breakdown of law and order and, thereby affecting the election process".
The ban comes in the run up to the fifth phase of Assembly polls in the state on April 17. The Election Commission's move was a "black day for democracy" by her party colleague Derek O'Brien.