BJP’s national vice-president Mukul Roy has downplayed Mamata Banerjee’s dramatic declaration of contesting from Nandigram in the upcoming State Assembly election.
Taking a jibe at her former party-chief, the TMC-turned-BJP leader said that Banerjee would eventually back out from her decision and and not fight from the East Midnapore constitutency.
“She fears she might lose from her original constituency Bhowanipore. That’s why she is looking for a safe seat. However, she will eventually not contest in Nandigram. She would realise people there are not behind her anymore,” Roy said on Monday.
Apart from him, a similar narrative has been floated by other opposition leaders as well. Sujan Chakraborty and Dilip Ghosh have also claimed that Banerjee was doubtful about winning chances from her home turf.
In a remarkable turn of events on Monday, Mamata Banerjee announced she would contest the upcoming assembly election from Nandigram, taking the fight for West Bengal to the bastion of poitical heavyweight Suvendu Adhikari, who recently quit the TMC and joined the BJP.
That Banerjee chose Nandigram to make the big announcement reflects the TMC supremo”s determination to take the BJP, which has launched a spirited campaign to unseat her after a decade-long stint in power, head on.
Nandigram was the scene of massive public protest against “forcible” land acquisition by the then Left Front government for creation of a special economic zone.
The protracted and often bloody protests added to Banerjee and her party”s political heft and catapulted the TMC to power in 2011, marking the end of the Left Front rule of 34 years.
Adhikari is considered the face face of the movement in Nandigram, some 130 km south-west of Kolkata.
Meanwhile, the TMC-turncoat has accepted the challenge and boasted that he would quit politics if he failed to beat Banerjee by a margin of at least 50,000 votes.
“If I am fielded by my party from Nandigram, I will defeat her by a margin of at least 50,000 votes or I will quit politics,” he asserted.
However, it remained unclear if Adhikari took the challenge head on of contesting the election against Banerjee by himself.
He had earlier expressed his reluctance to take a ticket in the state polls, which are likely to be held in March.
“I don’t know from where I will be fielded, whether I will be fielded,” Adhikari, the former Nandigram MLA, added.
With PTI inputs