The BJP has upped its ante, ahead of the upcoming State Legislative elections in West Bengal. While the party is expected to announce its list of candidates for the polls, rumours are rife about heavyweight BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari contesting against incumbent Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in his bastion of Nandigram.
“Ami Nandigram e Mamata Banerjee ke harabo (I will defeat Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram),” Adhikari announced recently at a political rally. He further said, “Stay assured that I will defeat her. If my party pitches me as a candidate opposite her, then, I will defeat her directly. Even if someone else is fielded in Nandigram, I will still ensure her defeat.”
It must be mentioned that Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee had informed on January 18 about her desire to contest from the Nandigram constituency. Banerjee, who had earlier contested from the Bhabanipur constituency, said, “Ami e jodi Nandigram e darai toh kemon hoi (How will be if I contest from the Nandigram seat?) This is my wish and desire.”
Mamata Banerjee’sNandigram outreach’ and the challenge of Suvendu Adhikari
She added, “I am not neglecting my Bhabanipur seat. We are not ignoring the constituency. We will field a good candidate from there. Telling Bakshi (party member) to include my name for Nandigram.” In response, Suvendu Adhikari said, “If I can’t defeat her by half lakh votes, I will quit politics,” he declared in Kolkata. Adhikari, a former member of the TMC, has been one of the main architects of the Nandigram movement, had helped Mamata Banerjee led TMC to overthrow the 34-year left rule in the state.
For the uninitiated, Nandigram is the epicentre of the 2007 farmers’ movement that propelled Mamata Banerjee to power in the state 10 years ago. In fact, over the years Adhikari emerged as one of Trinamool’s top brass because of his clout in Nandigram. The Chief Minister’s return to Nandigram is being seen as a direct challenge to Suvendu Adhikari, who had led an exodus of Trinamool leaders to the BJP over the past few weeks. While the uncertainty continues over the decision of Mamata Banerjee to contest from Adhikari’s bastion of Nandigram, TMC workers have begun ‘house hunting’ for her stay in the area.
House-hunting for Mamata Banerjee underway in Nandigram, ahead of polls
“We have zeroed in on two houses, which seem to be suitable for Mamata Banerjee to stay in Nandigram. While one belongs to former defence personnel, the other belongs to a teacher,” a TMC leader informed. BJP leader Agnimitra Paul said, “The TMC may search for two houses or four houses for Mamata Banerjee. She would be defeated this time…” The Election Commission of India had announced an eight-phased Assembly poll for West Bengal beginning March 27. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.