Amid speculation about rebel Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Suvendu Adhikari’s next move, his politically influential family did not attend Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s rally here on Monday, prompting the TMC chairperson to allege that the BJP was trying to break the ruling party with “moneybags”.“I want to tell those who spread canards against TMC leaders that we are the most honest party. We are not like the BJP, which is using its moneybags to dislodge Opposition-run governments in states and trying to break the Opposition parties,” Banerjee said.
The Chief Minister said her party was a hard nut to crack and would not surrender to the BJP.
Without naming anyone, Banerjee said she would not give in to those trying to blackmail the party and bargain with it ahead of next year’s state elections.
“Those who are corrupt are now joining the BJP. CPI(M) goons now have switched sides and are working as cadres of the BJP,” she alleged.
Banerjee addressed the rally at the Medinipur College ground days after dialogue between the TMC leadership and Adhikari broke down. After the talks failed, the TMC said the rapprochement efforts were a closed chapter.
After arriving at the venue, Banerjee asked senior party leaders Subrata Bakshi and Partha Chatterjee if all the MLAs from the region were present.
On hearing that only Adhikari and Banasree Maity were missing, Banerjee said, “All the MLAs have come to the meeting. Sudarshan [Ghosh Dastidar] da is ill. Mrigen [Maity] da also not well [later, Banerjee went to his house after hearing he passed away]. Samaresh da also died.”
However, the chief minister did not mention the names of the rebel leader, his father Sisir Adhikari, and brothers Dibyendu and Soumendu. Sisir and Dibyendu are TMC MPs from Tamluk and Kanthi, while Soumendu is an MLA from Purba Medinipur.
The family wields influence in many Assembly seats in Paschim Medinipur, Bankura, Purulia, Jhargram, and parts of Birbhum — mainly in the Jangalmahal region — and areas in minority-dominated Murshidabad. Paschim Medinipur is considered to be Suvendu’s stronghold.
Following the rally, the chief minister talked to the party’s MLAs at the venue. She told Khejuri MLA Ranjit Mondol, a close associate of Suvendu, “Ranjit, you are our old guard, you have fought for the party during our crises. So, do not take any decision in a hurry. Before taking any decision, think twice.”
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