Accusing the Mamata Banerjee-led dispensation of indulging in minority politics, BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari, who recently jumped ship after simmering differences with the TMC leadership, on Wednesday urged the about 70 per cent non-minority voters to ‘stay united’ in order for the BJP to take over reins of the state.
Addressing a public rally in Chandannagar in Hooghly, Adhikari said, “Trinamool Congress has become a private limited party which is now run by its chairman Mamata Banerjee and managing director Abhishek Banerjee. They have outsourced it to one person (Prashant Kishor) to look after it.”
“TMC is thinking they will manage this time (upcoming assembly polls) with 30 per cent (hinting at Muslim vote share). But I would like to tell them that we have 70 per cent (Hindu votes). I would like to urge you today from this ‘manch’, stay united and give a befitting reply to oust the ruling government,” he added.
On Banerjee’s decision to contest from Nandigram in East Midnapore, he said, “Whoever will contest from Nandigram on BJP’s ticket, I ensure you that BJP will win from there. I take this responsibility today to ensure BJP’s win from Nandigram. They are relying on 62,000 votes but I have the support of 2.13 lakh people who chant ‘Jai Shri Ram”.
In the context of TMC’s Santipur MLA Arindam Bhattacharya joining the BJP, he said, “There are many who are working as an employee in the Trinamool Congress private limited party. If they want to work as co-workers or co-fighters instead of remaining an employee, please join us. Even I quit the TMC because I don’t want to work there as an employee. My ambition is to work as a ‘saha karmi’ (co-worker) and ‘saha yoddha’ (co-fighter).”
Yesterday, hinting at Adhikari, Banerjee had said she was relieved with the exit of ‘nuisance’ from the Trinamool Congress.
Addressing a mega public rally in Purulia district, she had said: “I am happy to get rid of the ‘nuisance’ otherwise he would keep on creating problems. It’s good that our party is free from such trouble makers.”
Referring to the exodus from her party, she said, “BJP can buy people but I will not allow them to sell Bengal to the BJP. There are three kinds of leaders – ‘lobhi’ (greedy), ‘bhogi’ (Sybarite) and the ‘tyagi’ (the one who sacrifice). The ‘bhogis’ and ‘lobhis’ may sell their ideology but ‘tyagis’ will never sell themselves before such people. I am happy that TMC got rid of one such ‘lobhi’ (hinting at Suvendu).”
The standoff between Banerjee and Adhikari intensified on Monday after the TMC chief announced her decision to contest from Nandigram in the upcoming assembly poll scheduled to be held this year in April-May. Nandigram is considered to be a strong bastion of the rebel leader and Banerjee’s announcement to contest from there could be seen as her direct challenge to the Adhikari family.
Hours after the announcement, Adhikari had challenged her: “I will quit politics if I fail to ensure Mamata’s defeat by 50,000 votes.”