A section of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) leadership is pushing for reconciliation between Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and dissident leader Suvendu Adhikari, and believes Adhikari will remain with the party if Banerjee smooths things out with him.
It is learnt that TMC MP Saugata Roy will meet Adhikari on Monday to fix a meeting between him and Banerjee. A senior TMC leader, who did not wish to be named, said on Saturday, “He has no grudge against Mamata Banerjee. He is angry with some party leaders but if Didi talks to him with sympathy, he will never quit our party. Suvendu is our asset. We should not let him go. He has a huge cadre base. If he quits the party before the Assembly elections, the party will face a huge face loss.”
In recent weeks, Adhikari, who is the state transport minister, has criticised his party and addressed political rallies under non-TMC banners. The breach widened during “Nandigram Dibas” rallies earlier this month in which both sides made rancorous speeches.
Also, over the past month, posters with Adhikari’s photo have appeared in Medinipur and other parts of the Jangalmahal area. These posters were put up by an organisation called “Dadar Anugami [Elder brother’s followers]”. On Saturday, these posters were seen in Kolkata’s Shyambazar area.
A section of the TMC leadership, however, believes Adhikari can still be kept in the party fold. Its hopes were renewed after the minister on Thursday quashed rumours that he would join the BJP. The Opposition party’s state president Dilip Ghosh has made offers to Adhikari to defect to his outfit. “I am still a member of one party. I am still a minister in the cabinet of the West Bengal government. Mamata Banerjee has neither asked me to resign nor have I decided to leave. I am not a man to let go of my ideology for the sake of politics,” he said at the rally in Ramnagar in Purba Medinipur district.
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