In his first public meeting for the BJP, former transport minister Suvendu Adhikari on Tuesday lashed out at his former party Trinamool Congress (TMC) for labelling him a “traitor”, and claimed the party would have broken up before 2001 had it not been for the saffron outfit.
No self-respecting person could remain in the TMC as it had transformed from a party to a company, Adhikari said at the rally in Purbasthali in Purba Bardhaman district. He claimed without the BJP’s help and support the TMC would have disbanded before 2001, within three years of its formation. The former TMC heavyweight clarified that he had joined the BJP to help bring about another change of government in the state.
“Suvendu Adhikari is neither a traitor nor Mir Jafar. TMC has turned into a company. Any self-respecting person cannot remain in the TMC. If former Prime Minister, the late Atal Bihari Vajpayee, had not provided shelter to the TMC, the party would have ceased to exist before 2001,” said Adhikari.
The former minister claimed that he did not join the saffron party for any post and wants to work as a dedicated party worker.
Taking on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Adhikari claimed that she would not have come to power without the support gained from the Nandigram movement. Adhikari was Banerjee’s trusted lieutenant during the anti-land acquisition movement.
“If she had the power then she could have become the chief minister in 2001. I am not saying she became a chief minister with my help. But she became chief minister by using the bodies of the Nandigram massacre as stepping stones. She formed the TMC by breaking away from the Congress, but joined hands with them to win the 2011 Assembly elections,” he said.
Adhikari added, “To defeat the Left Front government, the BJP then told people that they should vote for Mamata Banerjee to end the oppressive Communist rule. So, the BJP also contributed to bringing about a change in the government in 2011.”
Hitting out at TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee, who is Mamata Banerjee’s nephew, the former minister urged people to drive out the “tolabaaj bhaipo [extortionist nephew]” from power.
Reacting to Adhikari’s remarks, senior TMC MP Saugata Roy said, “He does not have the courage to start his new political career from Nandigram. If he had the guts, he should have held his first public meeting for the BJP from Nandigram. He has no ideology. He is a traitor without a doubt. Mamata Banerjee has the capacity to form a new party. She did not take shelter in the BJP. But Suvendu has compromised his freedom and taken shelter in the BJP. If he had the courage, then he could have formed his own party.”
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