Updated: March 13, 2022 10:36:06 pm
Days after switching over to the TMC from the BJP, veteran leader Joy Prakash Majumder stirred a controversy as he claimed that Leader of Opposition in West Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari’s win against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the 2021 assembly polls from Nandigram was not by fair means.
Majumder, who was suspended by the BJP in the last week of January for “anti-party activities”, claimed that it was “baffling” how Adhikari went on to clinch the seat, just hours after Banerjee was declared winner from the constituency in Purba Medinipur district.
“I remember Suvendu had stated on the night of May 2 that he had to use tricks to win Nandigram,” the newly appointed vice-president of the TMC, who was once a fierce critic of Mamata Banerjee, told reporters on Saturday.
“The counting process was not transparent in Nandigram. By sleight of hand, Suvendu suddenly pipped Mamata Banerjee, who was initially declared the winner,” Majumder said.
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Former state minister Rajib Bandyopadhyay, who had unsuccessfully contested from Domjur on a BJP ticket and returned to the TMC shortly after, also claimed that Majumder’s assertions were 100 per cent true.
“I know Suvendu Adhikari was not declared the winner in a fair manner. I can vouch for that,” Bandyopadhyay said.
In a tongue-in-cheek Twitter post in Bengali, Adhikari described the press meet of the Trinamool Congress leaders as a “farce” conducted by an “extortionist” party.
Sharing a famous Bengali poem by Satyendra Nath Dutta, he indicated that he would not reply to the charges as it would be below his dignity.
The BJP leader said the press conference of the “Tolamool” party reminded him of Dutta’s poem “Uttam ebong Adham” (Good and Bad).
The last stanza of that poem tells the reader that it is below the dignity of a human to bite back a dog that had bitten him.
“Tola” is a Bengali slang meaning extorted money.
Adhikari also shared a picture of the proverbial three wise monkeys embodying the maxim: “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”.
Though Adhikari avoided a direct reply, BJP state spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya trashed the allegations, stating that Majumder and Bandyopadhyay were revealing their “true colours” after crossing over to the TMC.
“Majumder is trying to raise his ratings before the new party supremo against whom he had levelled snide remarks in the past. Footages of his comments at BJP press briefings are still available. Will he take back all those comments now?” Bhattacharya sought to know.
Talking about Rajib Bandyopadhyay, the BJP spokesperson said, “I guess he wants to impress the TMC supremo by making these false claims. Given that he has been shifted to Tripura to look after the affairs of the TMC there, the former Domjur MLA must be desperately trying to get back.”
According to the Election Commission, Adhikari defeated Mamata Banerjee by over 1,900 votes in Nandigram. The announcement was made just hours after reports suggested the TMC supremo had bagged the seat.
Banerjee later moved the Calcutta High Court challenging the Nandigram verdict. She was elected to the Assembly from Bhabanipur later in 2021.
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