In his first roadshow in Nandigram after joining the BJP, former Trinamool Congress minister Suvendu Adhikari on Tuesday dared Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to hold a rally in Purbo Medinipur district and said that BJP will hold a rally “where over one lakh people will attend”.
On Monday, the Trinamool Congress called off the party’s January 7 rally in Nandigram in the district, citing indisposition of local MLA Akhil Giri, who has tested positive for Covid-19.
“We don’t back out after announcing our political programme. Those who announced holding a rally in Nandigram have suddenly disappeared. However, I keep my word. I will hold a rally on January 8 and more than one lakh people will attend it,” Adhikari said after holding the roadshow.
“They (TMC) are saying that the rally will take place later. If they organise their meeting later, we will hold another rally in the same area after theirs and show them that people are with us now,” Adhikari said.
He also targeted Trinamool MP Abhishek Banerjee with a “bhaipo” (nephew) jibe. Abhishek is the nephew of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
“The office of the bhaipo is asking some people to tear posters and attack our men here. He will get a befitting reply. Our call is to remove tolabaaj (extortionist) bhaipo from power,” Adhikari said without taking Abhishek’s name.
He also alleged that some people who were coming to his roadshow were attacked on the way by ruling Trinamool Congress workers. “I have got to know that some of our party workers were attacked while coming to this roadshow. Let me tell you clearly that we will not tolerate such attacks. The culprits have to be booked by the police. We will not take such attacks lying down though we believe in the philosophy of peace,” he said.
“Some of our men had to be hospitalised, while a few are missing,” said a BJP leader.
Police, however, said that a scuffle broke out between locals and a group of people but the situation was soon brought under control.
The Trinamool Congress denied the charge, saying their party workers were not involved in the incident.
Later in the day, Adhikari took part in another roadshow — from Titagarh to Khardah in North 24 Parganas district. Union minister Babul Supriyo, BJP MPs Saumitra Khan, Arjun Singh, BJP leaders Subhrangshu Roy and others took part in the roadshow.
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