Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced today that she will contest the Bengal election from Nandigram, the epicenter of a farmers’ movement that propelled her to power in the state 10 years ago. Challenge accepted, said her former right hand man Suvendu Adhikari, who represented Nandigram but crossed over to the BJP last month.
“I will contest from Nandigram. Nandigram is my lucky place,” Mamata Banerjee said, addressing a public meeting in the town for the first time in five years.
With this, she set the stage for a direct face-off with Suvendu Adhikari, the turncoat Trinamool Congress MLA from Nandigram who is now with the BJP.
Adhikari, who resigned from the Nandigram seat and joined the BJP in the presence of Union home minister Amit Shah on December 19, accepted the challenge while addressing a rally at Rashbehari in south Kolkata, close to the chief minister’s home. “Write this down and mention the date and time. I will leave politics if I cannot defeat her by half lakh (50,000) votes,” Adhikari said at the rally.
BJP, Congress and Left leaders lost no time in attacking Banerjee, saying she would be contesting from Nandigram in addition to Bhawanipore because she was not confident of winning from her old seat where the TMC’s vote share has decreased in recent polls.