Suvendu Adhikari quit the Trinamool Congress and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in December last year. A Trinamool Congress soldier for more than two decades, Adhikari is an influential leader with a mass base.
Once considered a close aide of Mamata Banerjee, Adhikari is the man who had helped Mamata Banerjee in her anti-land acquisition movemnent against the Left Front government in Nandigram in 2009 that catapulted her to power in 2011.
He resigned from Mamata Banerjee's party, her cabinet and other positions citing "difficulties for him to work with the party".
Himself a two-term former MP, Adhikari's father, Sisir Adhikari and brother Dibyendu are sitting TMC MPs from Tamluk and Kanthi Lok Sabha constituencies respectively.
The Adhikari family wields considerable influence in at least 40-45 assembly segments in West Medinipur, Bankura, Purulia, Jhargram, parts of Birbhum -- mainly in the Junglemahal region and areas in minority-dominated Murshidabad district. Adhikari's entry in the BJP is likely to adversely impact the TMC's prospects in these areas in the April-May assembly polls.
Adhikari was elected as a councillor from the Congress in the Contai Municipality in 1995. In 2006, he was elected to West Bengal Legislative Assembly, from Kanthi Dakshin as member of TMC. He, however, resigned mid-term to join Lok Sabha. Adhikari was elected to the Lok Sabha from Tamluk in 2009 and 2014. But he quit in 2016 and was elected to the Legislative Assembly from Nandigram.