In his first public meeting after quitting the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal, Suvendu Adhikari on Sunday refrained from making any political announcement and instead said that “people will have the last word” on his political career.
Addressing an event in memory of late freedom fighter Ranjit Kumar Bayal at Mahishadal in Purba Medinipur district, Adhikari invoked Bhimrao Ambedkar and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and said that he will uphold the Constitution and serve Bengalis and Bengal as their “sevak”.
“Bhimrao Ambedkar and Maulana Azad, among others, framed our Constitution. Our country’s democratic system is by the people, for the people and of the people. Therefore, the people will have the last word. With their support and the responsibility they have bestowed on me, I will serve Bengalis and Bengal as their sevak. This is a promise I can give you,” Adhikari said at the programme, which was organised by Tamralipto Janakalyan Samiti.
On Friday, after months of distancing himself from the party, Adhikari resigned from the Mamata Banerjee-led Cabinet where he was Transport, Irrigation and Waterways Minister.
His resignation was accepted by Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar.
He, however, did not quit the party or resign as an MLA.
There was speculation that he may join the BJP with some state BJP leaders openly claiming that Adhikari and some more TMC ministers would join their party. However, Adhikari kept everyone guessing. Even on Sunday where all the eyes were on his first public meeting, he refused to spell out his next political move.
Though Sunday’s event was apolitical in nature, hundreds of Adhikari’s supporters had gathered wearing T-shirts that had ‘Amra Dadar Anugami’ (We are brother’s followers) written on them. His supporters, many of them women, said they will support whatever decision is taken by Dada (Adhikari).
While concluding his speech, Adhikari chanted ‘Jai Hind’ slogan, and not ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, which he had used during his Nandigram rally earlier this month.
While his close aides are speculating that he will join the BJP in presence of the party’s top leadership in the first week of December, Adhikari is keeping his cards close to his chest.
On Saturday, he did not attend a meeting called by the Trinamool Congress in Kolkata.
TMC MP Saugata Roy who, along with fellow MP Sudip Bandopadhyay, has been tasked by the party top brass to hold parleys with Adhikari over his grievances, expressed hope that there will be talks between the two sides.
“Doors are still open for talks with Suvendu. There should be discussions with him. I am hopeful of dialogue between Suvendu and the party leadership,” Roy said when asked about retaining the mass leader in the party.
“Suvendu’s mother is ill, so the talks may have to wait till she gets well,” said Roy, who also enjoys a cordial relationship with Adhikari’s father and Kanthi MP Sisir Kumar Adhikari.
Two rounds of dialogues between Adhikari and Roy had remained inconclusive.
Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee will start his district tour from December 7, with a rally in Purba Medinipur considered to be a stronghold of the Adhikari family.
Meanwhile, TMC MP and Chief Minister’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee in an oblique attack on Adhikari said the TMC workers “won’t tolerate” any leader who would betray the mother (party).
Addressing party workers at Satgachia in South 24 Parganas district, Abhishek said, “TMC party is like your mother. Can you betray your mother who has helped you grow as a leader? Can you forgive people who will betray the trust of his mother for his personal gains? We cannot tolerate people if they betray their mother. In the days to come, people will ensure Mamata Banerjee makes a hattrick of wins and reach Nabanna (state secretariat).”
Without taking Adhikari’s name, Abhishek said, “How many of you (party workers and leaders) have dropped off from parachutes and took the lift (elevator) to come here? TMC means grassroots. It means party of the soil. No one can climb up here with the help of parachutes and lift. If anyone does it then he is certain to fall.”
Adhikari had recently said that he neither took a lift nor was parachuted to his present position in the TMC.
With PTI inputs
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