In a dramatic move, TMC MP Sisir Kumar Adhikari, the father of Suvendu Adhikari, joined the BJP at Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s public rally in Egra, East Midnapore, on Sunday and said his family was “with the people of Bengal”. “Save Bengal from atrocities, we are with you, our family is with you. Jai Siya Ram, Jai Bharat,” Sisir said in the rally.
Before leaving his house to attend Shah’s meeting, Sisir Kumar Adhikari said, “My son is winning the Nandigram seat and there is no doubt about this. This assembly poll is a battle to save our prestige.”
Hitting out at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for calling Suvendu a ‘traitor’, he said, “She is responsible for whatever happened here in Bengal. Now she is branding us as traitors. She is the ‘malkin’ (owner) of the ‘TMC factory’. She can say all these things. But such allegations are not going to bring favourable positions for her. Suvendu is winning from Nandigram. Everybody knows that the results will be in favour of my son.”
Sisir’s decision to join the BJP came months after his son joined the saffron brigade on December 19 last year.
On January 18, Mamata played a masterstroke after she announced to contest from Nandigram in the upcoming assembly poll. Days later, BJP decided to field Adhikaro against the chief minister.
Nandigram is the prestige battle for Mamata as she demolished the Left Front rule in Bengal while riding the Nandigram anti-land acquisition movements in 2007. The political move helped her to oust the 34-years of Left Front rule in Bengal.
Veteran TMC leader Sisir Adhikari is an MP in Lok Sabha and has been representing the Contai seat since 2009. He also served as former Union Minister of State for Rural Development in the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government.
He was the Chairman of Contai Municipality for more than 25 years. Along with his son, Suvendu, he also played a crucial role in the Nandigram anti-land acquisition movement. Mamata had given due respect to him and his family members for their dedication towards the party.
Nandigram is considered as a strong bastion of the TMC turncoat and Mamata’s decision to contest from this region could be seen as her direct challenge to the Adhikari family. With Nandigram being the epicentre of TMC’s politics, Mamata’s masterstroke is going to have its impact in all the 35 assembly seats in both East and West Midnapore districts.
There are 16 assembly seats in East Midnapore, while 19 seats in West Midnapore.
In 2016 assembly polls, TMC won 13 out of 16 seats in East Midnapore, including Nandigram, which was won by Suvendu Adhikari, while three seats — including Tamluk constituency won by CPI’s Ashok Kumar Dinda, Panskura Purba won by CPIM’s Sheikh Ibrahim Ali Haldia seat nabbed by Tapasi Mondal — went to the Left Front.
Out of 19 seats in West Midnapore, TMC won 17 seats while one seat went to BJP (won by Dilip Ghosh from Kharagpur Sadar) while one seat ‘Sabang’ went to Congress (Manas Bhuniya later joined the TMC).