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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 02 March 2021 1.28 AM IST

Adhikari accepts Mamata's dare, says will defeat her in Nandigram or quit politics

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KOLKATA: BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari on Monday accepted the challenge thrown by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to contest from his Nandigram assembly seat, asserting he will defeat her in the election or quit politics.

The TMC turncoat, however, said the final decision to field candidates will be taken by the BJP leadership after a thorough discussion and not in an arbitrary way like in the ruling TMC.

Banerjee sprang a surprise earlier in the day when she declared that she will contest the assembly elections from Nandigram, the seat held by political heavyweight Adhikari.

"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.

Adhikari, however, said unlike the TMC, which is run "autocratically" by Banerjee and her nephew Abhishek, in BJP the candidates are decided after discussion and it was for the party to take a call on his candidature.

"I don''t know from where I will be fielded, whether I will be fielded," he said, addressing BJP workers after a three-km road show.

He said Banerjee remembers Nandigram only before elections, and accused her of giving extension four times to an IPS officer involved in the Nandigram firing.

Banerjee, Adhikari alleged, was playing with the sentiments of the people of Nandigram.

"That will not work this time and her party will be democratically dumped into the Bay of Bengal."

Adhikari claimed not more than 30,000 people, mostly brought from other places, attended Banerjee''s meeting at Tekhali in Nandigram on Monday.

Contending that Banerjee lacked sympathy for the people of Nandigram, the TMC turncoat said, "While the anti- farmland acquisition movement in Singur has been included in school text books, martyrs of Nandigram and Khejuri find no mention in them."

Adhikari accused the TMC of stealing funds allotted for Cyclone Amphan victims, and pilfering food grains meant for distribution among the underprivileged.

He also claimed that COVID-19 vaccines have been appropriated by TMC leaders.

He was referring to allegations that several TMC leaders were taking COVID-19 vaccines in the first phase, flouting norms set by the central government, with BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya describing the government as ''vaccine chor (thief)'' on Sunday.

Exhorting BJP youth wing members to respond to the alleged attack by TMC supporters at a roadshow, he said, "At three places, they (TMC) carried on cowardly attacks on our programme, which had police permission. But our yuva morcha men chased them into nearby alleys. In future, in the face of such provocation, we will peacefully retaliate."

Alleging police inaction during these attacks, he said that a section of officers have become ''dalals'' (agents of the ruling party) of ''kalighat'' (where Mamata Banerjees residence is located).

Describing the TMC as a party led by "one and half leaders", Adhikari said "pishi- bhaipo (Mamata Banerjee and nephew Abhishek) call the shots in the ruling party, while other leaders barely get to say anything."

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TAGS: MAMATA BANERJEE, SUVENDU ADHIKARI, NANDIGRAM, WEST BENGAL, WEST BENGAL POLLS
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