As Nandigram goes to vote in the high octane West Bengal State Assembly elections on Thursday, the campaigning for the high profile seat ended on an intense note. As per reports, the cut-outs of Suvendu Adhikari are way more than those of Mamata Banerjee. Adhikari, Mamata Banerjee’s former aide, quit the TMC and joined the BJP few months prior to the assembly elections.
The road leading to the house where Mamata Banerjee stayed in the final days of campaigning in West Bengal was filled with saffron flags with ‘Om’ written on them. The TMC operatives, however, have not yet removed the flags. Ahead of the conclusion of campaigning, the loudspeakers blared ‘Bole Bole Nandigram, Jai Shri Ram! (Nandigram says Jai Shri Ram)’. When Mamata Banerjee’s car passed by, the BJP workers loudly chanted Jai Shri Ram. Banerjee, has made her disdain for ‘Jai Shri Ram’ quite evident.
Earlier in January, when she got on stage to address a gathering on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose birth anniversary, she was greeted with Jai Shri Ram slogans. She refused to address the crowd and accused them of trying to insult her.
Meanwhile, Suvendu Adhikari has minced no words to accuse Banerjee of Muslim appeasement. Addressing an election rally on 29th March, Adhikari had said that if Mamata wins, she will turn Bengal into mini-Pakistan.
TMC leader Sheikh Alam had last week said that Muslims are 30% and others are 70% and if these 30% Muslims in the country come together, Hindus will have nowhere to go in the country. “We form government with 30% votes, they will form govt with the support of 70% votes, they should be ashamed of themselves. If 30% of people in India come together, we can form 4 Pakistans. If all the Muslims in India move to one side of the country, where the rest of the people go, where the 70% people will go?”, the TMC leader said.
In 2016, when Suvendu Adhikari fought from TMC ticket, he had secured 134,623 votes and had won by a margin of 81,230. Left had come second with 53,393 votes and BJP stood third at 10,713. However, in 2019 Lok Sabha elections, TMC’s Tamluk candidate Dibyendu Adhikari, who is also brother to Suvendu Adhikari, won 130,659 votes and BJP came second with 62,268 votes. Left had come third with less than 10,000 votes.
As per official records, Nandigram has just 257,299 registered voters. If the viral images floating on social media are to be believed, Mamata Banerjee is set to lose Nandigram as per the internal survey of IPAC, poll strategist Prashant Kishor’s agency, hired by TMC to make Mamata win. TMC has quickly refuted the viral images and claimed that BJP is ‘losing big’ and hence sharing ‘fake images’.
But as is evident, each votes counts.