West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee has announced that she will fight upcoming assembly elections from Nandigram seat, which Suvendu Adhikari won in 2016 as TMC candidate.
Speaking at a rally in Nandigram, Banerjee in a reference to the party leaders, including Adhikari, who have joined the BJP, said that she is not worried about those changing sides, adding that "when TMC was formed none of them were there".
"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 would request our state party president Subrata Bakshi to approve my name from this seat," Banerjee said. Bakshi, who was on the podium, swiftly accepted the request.
Banerjee's announcement is seen as a political gambit aimed at Suvendu Adhikari who joined the BJP in December 2020. The TMC chief also dropped hints that she may contest from Bhawanipore seat in south Kolkata which she won in 2011 and 2016.
"If possible, I will contest from both Bhawanipore and Nandigram. In case, I am unable to contest from Bhawanipore, someone else would contest," she said.
Banerjee said she would never allow "some people" to sell out Bengal to the BJP. "Those who have left the part, 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.
The agitation in Nandigram in the Purba Medinipur district over land acquisition in the late 2000s catapulted Banerjee to power in 2011, ending the 34 years of Left rule. However, Adhikari after switching over to the BJP has been alleging that the chief minister has forgotten the people of the area that helped her get to the top post.
West Bengal will go to polls in April-May later this year.