Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Suvendu Adhikrai will file his nomination papers from the Nandigram constituency in poll-bound West Bengal on Friday. Adhikari is pitted against chief minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee.
Once considered a close aide of Banerjee and a former minister in her cabinet, Adhikari quit the TMC and joined the BJP in December 2020 alleging that the ruling party in Bengal was corrupt and lacked discipline. He won the Nandigram constituency in 2016 assembly elections as a TMC candidate.
Addressing a rally on March 6 in the Muchipara area in Durgapur after the BJP announced his candidature from Nandigram, Adhikari said that he would defeat Banerjee and send her back to Kolkata. He added that he would drive the TMC out of Bengal and ensure that the BJP emerges victorious in Nandigram and across the state. Reiterating his previous point that Banerjee would lose by 50,000 votes in this election, the BJP leader said during the rally that he would quit politics if he fails to defeat her.
Meanwhile, Banerjee on Tuesday accused the BJP of playing the ‘Hindu Card’ in Nandigram and further warned it to not indulge in communal politics. She filed her nomination from Nandigram on Wednesday.
Banerjee later claimed she was attacked by four-five people and was rushed to the SSKM hospital in Kolkata. The chief minister said on Thursday that she hoped to return to poll campaigning in the next 2-3 days. Releasing a video message from the hospital, Banerjee requested everyone to maintain peace and refrain from doing anything that can cause inconvenience to anybody.
Elections for the 294 constituencies in West Bengal will be held in eight phases from March 27 to April 29 and the counting of votes will take place on May 2. Voting in Nandigram, which is seen as a crucial battleground between the BJP and TMC will take place on April 1.