Nandigram: Waging war against Trinamool turncoat Suvendu Adhikari, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday announced that she will contest the upcoming Assembly elections from Nandigram seat. “I will contest from Nandigram Assembly. Nandigram is my lucky place. If possible I will contest from both Bhawanipur and Nandigram,” Banerjee said during a public meeting. “Let them become president and vice president of the country. But don’t you dare to sell out Bengal to the BJP. As long as I am alive, I won’t allow them to sell out my state to the BJP,” she further added.Also Read - 'Nusrat Jahan Missing' Posters Surface in Her Lok Sabha Constituency Basirhat. Here's Why
Addressing a rally, Banerjee said she is not worried about those joining rival parties as they were hardly around when the TMC was formed. Banerjee said these leaders left the ruling party to protect the money “they have looted” in the last few years. Also Read - CM Mamata Banerjee Bats for Creation of More Bengal Districts | Here's Why
“I have always started my campaign for the assembly polls from Nandigram. It is a lucky place for me. So this time I feel that I should contest the assembly polls from here. I request our state party president Subrata Bakshi to approve my name from this seat,” Banerjee said. Also Read - BJP Worker's Death in Bengal: Amit Shah Demands CBI Probe Into Arjun Chowrasia's 'Murder'
Bakshi, who was on the podium, swiftly accepted the request. Nandigram was the scene of massive public protest against “forcible” land acquisition by the then Left Front government for creation of a special economic zone.
The protracted and often bloody protests added to Banerjee and her party’s political heft and catapulted the TMC to power in 2011, marking the end of the Left Front rule of 34 years. Adhikari is considered the face of the movement in Nandigram.
After switching over to BJP, Adhikari has often accused Banerjee of having forgotten the people of the area who helped her gain power in the state. Banerjee is at present the MLA from Bhawanipore in south Kolkata.
“If possible, I will contest from both Bhawanipore and Nandigram. Nandigram is my elder sister and Bhawanipore is my younger sister. I will give a strong candidate from Bhawanipore also, in case I don’t fight from that seat,” she said.
Banerjee said she would never allow “a handful of people” to sell out Bengal to the BJP.
“Those who have left the party have my best wishes. Let them become president and vice president of the country. But don’t you dare to sell out Bengal to the BJP. As long as I am alive, I won't allow them to sell out my state to the BJP,” she said.
Elections to the 294-member state assembly are likely to be held in April-May along with Assam, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Notably, the ruling Mamata Banerjee government faced one of its worst crises in the past couple of months following the resignation of TMC stalwart Suvendu Adhikari, who took along with him scores of party workers to join the opposing BJP.
In the 2016 West Bengal polls, Trinamool had retained its majority and won 211 seats while the Bharatiya Janata Party won three seats.
However, in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Left and Congress had fought separately with the Congress won two seats, the Left Front dominated by the CPI-M, which ruled Bengal for 34 years (1977-2011), drew a blank.