Updated: January 20, 2021 1:09:39 pm
A day after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced she would contest the upcoming Assembly elections from Nandigram in Purba Medinipur district and Bhabanipur in south Kolkata, BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari on Tuesday said his party would not let Banerjee contest from two seats.
Adhikari’s claim is not tenable as, according to Section 33 (7) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, a candidate can contest from two constituencies in the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections, but not more.
Nandigram is the stronghold of Adhikari, who was Banerjee’s lieutenant during the 2007-’08 Nandigram anti-land acquisition movement. The former state transport minister quit the ruling party last month over growing differences with Banerjee and the senior TMC leadership.
At a public meeting in the Heria area of Purba Medinipur, Adhikari asked Banerjee to keep ready letterheads mentioning her as former MLA and former chief minister. “We will not let you contest from two seats. You have to contest the election from Nandigram only. From now, keep ‘former MLA’ and ‘former chief minister’ letterheads ready because the BJP will win here and Mamata Banerjee will lose,” the BJP leader added.
On Monday, Adhikari had said at a roadshow in Kolkata that if fielded from Nandigram he would defeat Banerjee by at least 50,000 votes or quit politics. He also accused the chief minister of remembering the people of Nandigram only before elections.
Continuing in the same vein on Tuesday, Adhikari accused his former leader of not honouring the people of Nandigram after coming to power in 2011.
“Mamata di, you have never honoured Nandigram. You have promoted police officers who opened fire on protesters in Nandigram [in 2007]. I dare Didi [Banerjee] to answer my question, on what basis does she hope to win from Nandigram? Is it based on your 62,000-vote lead? But we will win here based on our 2,13,000 vote lead. That’s a promise and a challenge. I know how to fight elections,” the BJP leader said.
Intensifying the attack, Adhikari said, “Mamata Banerjee has become politically bankrupt. TMC is a private limited company where the rule of law of only two people work, Didi and her nephew.”
Meanwhile, BJP workers on the way to attend Adhikari’s rally were attacked with crude bombs and stones at Khejuri in Purba Medinipur district. The incident took place around 2.15 pm when the BJP workers were heading to Heria.
Several of them were injured as crude bombs and stones were hurled. A few vehicles were also vandalised, following which the BJP workers blocked roads.
The BJP accused TMC workers of carrying out the attack. However, no arrests were made by the police, who later brought the situation under control.
Referring to the attack, Adhikari said, “Today our workers were attacked at five places in Khejuri. I am extremely disturbed. I give the police time till Sunday to nab the culprits, else I will sit on dharna in front of the SP’s office from Monday.”
In response to Adhikari’s comments about Mamata Banerjee, TMC leader Madan Mitra said at a public meeting in Khejuri, “The less he speaks the better. He has mistakenly given the victory margin of the TMC, which will be over two lakh votes. He will suffer the biggest defeat of his political career.”
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