Feisty West Bengal chief minister said, “Some people are saying that I am an outsider. I, being a Bengali, is an outsider and you people who are from Delhi are not outsiders?.”
“If you don’t want me to file the nomination, I will not, but if you consider me your daughter then I will move ahead with filing my nomination,” said Mamata Banerjee.
Bringing alive old memories of the Nandigram anti-land acquisition protests, the TMC supremo came down hard on those calling her an outsider in Nandigram, and for them people “coming from Gujarat” are insiders.
Banerjee is pitted against her former confidante Suvendu Adhikari, who joined the BJP some time ago, in the high-profile seat. Without naming Adhikari even once, she said she had made up her mind to contest either from the Singur or Nandigram–the two cradles of anti-land acquisition movement– that catapulted her to power in 2011.
Mamata said she has decided to contest from Nandigram because of overwhelming response of the people, adding “I have heard some people are calling me an outsider in Nandigram. I am amazed. I was born and brought up in the neighbouring Birbhum district, and the person who is calling me an outsider was also not born here.”
Adhikari has often called himself “bhoomiputra” (son of the soil) while seeking to get back at the TMC supremo who has been targeting the BJP with the “party of outsiders” barb.
Banerjee accused Adhikari of trying to incite communal passions, and said, “Those who have sold their souls to the outsiders are insulting the Nandigram land acquisition movement by playing the communal card.”
“Some people are talking about 70:30 ratio (of Hindu- Muslim population). Those doing that are insulting the sacred Nandigram movement which people of both communities fought together. People of Nandigram will make BJP ‘April fool’ on April 1 when polling is held,” she asserted.
Adhikari gives call to overthrow TMC from power in Bengal
Senior BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari today gave a clarion call to oust the TMC from power in Bengal as he led a ‘padayatra’ in the Jhargram district. Sporting a saffron ’tilak’ on his forehead, Adhikari chanted ‘Hare Krishna Hare Hare, BJP Ghore Ghore’ (BJP in every household), as a battery of saffron party workers cheered for him.
Some of his supporters also raised the slogan ‘TMC sarkar aar nei darkar’ (we don’t need the TMC government any longer), while holding high lotus symbol cutouts and saffron- coloured balloons.
Adhikari, who crossed over to the BJP from the TMC in December last year, has been pitted opposite his ex-party supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in a do-or-die contest in Nandigram.
Talking to reporters, Adhikari said he will campaign for saffron camp candidates of Paschim Medinipur and Jangalmahal every other day.
(With Agency Inputs)