“The BJP won 18 parliamentary seats in 2019 and it will form a strong government this time with a huge margin,” he added referring to the party’s win in the general polls held that year.
Adhikari on Friday offered prayers at a temple in Nandigram and interacted with the local residents before filing his nomination for the assembly election in West Bengal. “My relationship with the people of Nandigram is very old. Mamata Banerjee remembers them every five years when polls come. They will defeat her. Today I am also filing my nomination and I am also a voter of the area,” Adhikari told reporters.
Adhikari, once a close aide of Banerjee’s, joined the BJP in December last year. Adhikari has already challenged to defeat Banerjee by more than 50,000 votes and has sharpened his attack further calling the chief minister an ‘outsider’ in Nandigram. His name was announced by the BJP on March 6, day after Banerjee released the list of candidates of her party and said she will contest from the Nandigram seat in East Midnapore, where elections would be held on April 1, paving the way for one of the most high-pitched political battles the state has seen in recent years.
Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, Smriti Irani and Babul Supriyo will accompany Adhikari when he files his nomination as the BJP candidate from Nandigram. Banerjee, who has been contesting polls from the Bhawanipore constituency so far, filed her nomination papers from Nandigram on March 10.
The tenure of West Bengal’s 16th legislative assembly will end on May 30 this year and the state polls will be held in eight phases from March 27 to April 29. Votes will be counted on May 2 along with those in Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.