New Delhi: Addressing his first mega rally in Kolkata ahead of the crucial West Bengal elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday took potshots at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with a hint of sarcasm on the TMC’s fuel hike protest when he said “Didi’s (Banerjee’s) scooty is destined to fall in Nandigram”. This comes days after the Trinamool Congress supremo announced that she will fight the polls from Nandigram, against her former protege, a TMC turncoat and BJP leader, Suvendu Adhikari. Also Read - Mamata Banerjee Urges EC To Merge Remaining Phases of Bengal Polls Into One Amid COVID Cases Surge
Speaking at Kolkata’s iconic Brigade Parade Ground, Prime Minister Narendra Modi questioned Banerjee’s sudden decision to not fight from Bhowanipore. Also Read - EC Calls All-Party Meeting In Kolkata As COVID Cases Surge In Bengal, Discussion Over Poll Campaigns Likely
“Your scooty took a turn towards Nandigram instead of going to Bhowanipore. Didi, I wish everyone well and I don’t want anyone hurt. But what can I do if the scooty is destined to fall in Nandigram,” PM Modi asked. PM Modi’s comment implied that Banerjee will lose her fight if she went to Nandigram to contest against Adhikari. Also Read - Mamata Banerjee Blames 'Outsiders' Brought by BJP For COVID Surge In West Bengal
Last month, Banerjee was seen on an electric scooter, travelling to her residence in Kalighat from the state secretariat ‘Nabanna’ in Howrah as a mark of protest against the incessant fuel price hike.
One must remember that Suvendu, who was once among Mamata’s most trusted men, is often known as the kindler of the anti-land acquisition movement, also known as the Nandigram movement, that catapulted the TMC to power in 2011.
However, over the years since, Adhikari felt his hold slipping away as newer members were given a role more powerful than his in the party. The final nail in the coffin that led him to jump ship was when the TMC old guards, including Adhikari, were replaced as in-charge of their districts with new leaders like Mamata’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee.
Adhikari still continued his work in the party while maintaining a distance from crucial party meetings. However, he ended his 20 years of the association on November 27, 2020, resigning from Banerjee’s cabinet.
Mamata Banerjee had last week announced that she would be moving her constituency to Nandigram from Bhawanipore where she would be contesting against Suvendu Adhikari who recently joined the BJP.
Elections in West Bengal, poised to be a tough contest between the ruling TMC and the BJP, will be held in eight phases between March 27 and April 29. Votes will be counted on May 2.