Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday hit out at her protege-turned-rival Suvendu Adhikari and his father Sisir Adhikari, saying the family “will remain “na ghar ka, na ghat ka [neither here nor there]” after the Assembly elections.
Suvendu joined the Opposition party last December and was followed subsequently by his youngest brother Soumendu and his father. Banerjee is contesting the polls against Suvendu in Nandigram, where an anti-land acquisition movement over a decade ago propelled her to power in 2011. Suvendu was a close associate of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief at the time.
The chief minister made the remarks slamming the Adhikaris at an event in Nandigram. The chief minister also accused the BJP and Suvendu Adhikari of indulging in hooliganism in Nandigram, claiming they were afraid of losing the election.
“Nandigram is witnessing violence and hooliganism. We held a meeting in Birulia yesterday and we came to know that the TMC office has been destroyed. One of our workers were beaten up. The ‘gaddar [traitor]’ is doing whatever he wants to win the election. They attacked me [on March 10]. No one from Nandigram attacked me but you [BJP] brought goons from UP, Bihar. We want a free and fair election. I can play games too. I too will respond like a Royal Bengal tiger,” said Banerjee.
She added, “Who indulges in hooliganism? A person who has no hope to win. They have lost the game before it began.”
Taking a dig at her former aide, the chief minister said, “It was my fault. I never thought that the person whom I gave the transport, irrigation, environment ministries, made his father the chairman of the development board in Digha, made his brother the municipality chairman of Contai, would betray my trust. After doing so much, he made so much money that the BJP asked him to either join their party or face action. After the election, the Adhikaris will remain na ghar ka na ghat ka [neither here nor there].”
Lashing out at Suvendu and Sisir, Banerjee claimed that when the Nandigram movement started in 2007, the “baap-beta [father-son]” duo was not seen for the first 10-12 days.
Reacting to the chief minister’s remarks, Suvendu said she had sensed her defeat in the polls. “By sensing her imminent defeat, she has lost her mental balance. She needs to go to a doctor for treatment. The BJP is winning this election and forming the government after May 2,” he claimed.
Earlier in the day, Banerjee held a “padayatra” on a wheelchair in the constituency. This was her first roadshow in Nandigram since the injury on March 10. The constituency will go to the polls on April 1 in the second phase.