The Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Wednesday addressed a huge rally in Kanthi in Purba Medinipur district, which is the stronghold of former minister Suvendu Adhikari who switched to the Opposition BJP last week.
“The crowd proved that Kanthi is not someone’s zamindari. It doesn’t matter who left the TMC,” said TMC MP Saugata Roy.
According to reports, people heading to the rally in Kanthi shouted “Mir Jafar” and “betrayer” in front of Adhikari’s house.
At least three people were injured in clashes between the ruling party and BJP workers in Ramnagar, near Kanthi, ahead of a BJP rally addressed by Adhikari. The police said the clash broke out when BJP activists were passing by a TMC party office. Both parties blamed each other for the violence. The ruling party accused the BJP of vandalising its party office and beating up its workers, while the Opposition party claimed its workers were assaulted without any provocation.
In his speech, state urban development minister Firhad Hakim criticised Adhikari for joining the BJP. “He has gone to BJP now to escape from all his evil work. You are talking about nepotism, if your father were not Sisir Adhikari, would you have been able to become Suvendu Adhikari? He shakes hands with communal forces. The people of Medinipur will respond to him.”
In his first rally for the BJP on Tuesday, Adhikari had lashed out at his former party for labelling him a “traitor”, and claimed the TMC would have broken up before 2001 had it not been for the saffron outfit.
“Suvendu Adhikari is neither a traitor nor Mir Jafar. TMC has turned into a company. Any self-respecting person cannot remain in the TMC. If former Prime Minister, the late Atal Bihari Vajpayee, had not provided shelter to the TMC, the party would have ceased to exist before 2001,” he said at the public meeting in Purbasthali in Purba Bardhaman district.
“We will defeat them. We will win. We will build a new Bengal, a golden Bengal. We want a ‘paribartan [change] of ‘paribartan’,” he added, referring to the TMC’s slogan during the 2011 elections, when it removed the Left Front from power.
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