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Mamata Banerjee is walking on double-edged knife after her announcement to contest from Nandigram

Friday, 5 March 2021 (14:51 IST)
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is perhaps walking on a double-edged knife after her announcement seeking to contest from the Nandigram assembly constituency, a statement that immediately electrified the already charged up election tempo and her follower turned foe Suvendu Adhikari dared her to stick to her statement.

After about 14 years Nandigram becomes a hot spot in West Bengal elections immediately after All India Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee during a rally in mid-January in East Medinipur announced her intention to contest from the seat where some 65, 000 Muslim voters reside among the 2.5 lakh electorate.

Ms Banerjee during the rally at East Medinipur had said that Bhowanipur, from where he was elected in 2016, is her elder sister and Nandigram is her younger sister. She had insisted and told party leader Subrata Bakshi to make sure of a ticket from Nandigram for the 2021 poll.

On Thursday TMC senior leader and party MP Sougata Roy during a query said that the party has empowered Ms Banerjee to pick up candidates, which is expected late on Friday.

Her former follower now turned fiercest political rival SuvenduAdhikari, who quit both the Nandigram seat, the ministry and TMC in last December, dared Ms Banerjee to contest from his former seat and vowed to quit politics if he cannot ensure her defeat with over 50,000 votes

Suvendu Adhikari, who won the 2016 assembly poll on TMC ticket over Communist candidate Abdul Kabiur Shek has huge support in East Medinipur because they belonged to a political family headed by Sisir Adhikari.

Suvendu Adhikari said he was not sure if his national party-BJP- gave him a ticket to contest from his old seat from Nandigram, “But I will make sure a win for the BJP and defeat Mamata Banerjee by over 50,000 votes.”

A former bastion of CPI(M) Nandigram, East Midnapore, first came to the limelight in 2007 where the peasant’s movement against the land acquisition for a special economic zone (SEZ). led to finish the 33 years of the Communist government in 2011. People retaliated after 14 people were killed in 2007.

The Adhikari family came to the fore during the peasant movement in 2007 and CPI(M)’s bitterest rival Mamata Banerjee immediately joined the movement.

Last year during the Nandigram diwas, it was contested who led the peasants movement, the Adhikari family or the TMC supremo.

However, the 2021 assembly poll has an answer, the political observers in Bengal opined.

They say it is now a prestige fight between Ms Banjerjee and Suvendu Adhikari and there is no issue in Nandigram for BJP, which is fighting the assembly election in Bengal with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s face.

Inside the BJP sources, they said that Suvendu Adhikari has impressed BJP’s central leadership in New Delhi to give him a ticket to contest him from Nandigram.

The electoral battle for the Nandigram seat added a new dimension this time as the CPI(M) led Left parties conceded the seat to newly launched Indian Secular Front (ISF) headed by Furfura Sharif Pirzada Abbas Siddique.

After Siddiqui’s announcement in the Brigade rally on February 28 that their move into an alliance with the Left and Congress was depending on the share of the seats it gets.

Siddique claimed that ISF will have its say in forming the next government in West Bengal. ISF sources said that they are considering a candidate from the Furfura family for the Nandigram seat. (UNI)

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