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Mamata Banerjee's former close aide Suvendu Adhikari joins BJP in Amit Shah's presence, Trinamool poses undeterred
Bengal Politics
Suvendu Adhikari with Amit Shah (Image Credit: BJP)

Mamata Banerjee's former close aide Suvendu Adhikari joins BJP in Amit Shah's presence, Trinamool poses undeterred

| @indiablooms | 19 Dec 2020, 09:44 pm

Kolkata/IBNS: After Mukul Roy and Sovan Chatterjee, former Nandigram MLA Suvendu Adhikari is the third close aide of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to become a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) man, triggering speculations over the kind of adverse effect he would cause to the ruling Trinamool Congress.

In his backyard Medinipur, Adhikari, who was the architect of the 2007 Nandigram land movement which helped Banerjee to become the CM four  years later, joined the saffron camp in Union Home Minister Amit Shah's presence at a time the BJP-led central government is facing massive farmers' protests for over three weeks now.

Flanked by various turncoats, Adhikari made it clear on Saturday that his prime target would be Banerjee's parliamentarian nephew Abhishek Banerjee, who is rumoured to be one of the reasons behind the former MLA's switching of camps.

Amid the strong political rhetorics, Adhikari didn't take the name of Abhishek but he said, "Yesterday one of my friends from Trinamool had sent me a video where I was heard calling to oust the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections. I replied to him that I had said that because I was a Trinamool man then but now I will give a call to oust an extortionist nephew."

The Medinipur strongman also revisited the "staircase" jibe to attack Abhishek saying, "I have done students' politics. I reached this position using staircases. People, who used to work closely with late BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee, are calling me a traitor!"

"After the formation of the Trinamool Congress in 1998, it was with the BJP in an alliance," he added.

Adhikari's tussle with Abhishek, a young parliamentarian from the Diamond Harbour constituency, became vivid when the former in a veiled attack on Banerjee's nephew had said in one his "independent", "non-political" rallies, "I haven't reached this position by parachute or elevator. I have reached this point by climbing the stairs."

Hitting back at Adhikari, Abhishek during a rally at his own constituency had said, "No one has been launched by a parachute or has been lifted to a position in the Trinamool."

"I would have contested from South Kolkata in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections if I had been launched by a parachute. My home is in South Kolkata. But I was given the Diamond Harbour seat by the party," the rumoured Trinamool number two man had said.

Not just Adhikari, but there were nine other sitting MLAs, one former MP and an ex-Minister from across all parties but mostly Trinamool, on Saturday joined hands with the BJP, which is posing a serious threat to the Trinamool's throne.

Who is Suvendu Adhikari?

Suvendu Adhikari, the son of Trinamool veteran and parliamentarian Sisir Adhikari, was first elected as a councillor from Congress in the Contai Municipality in 1995.

In 2006, which saw a massive success of the Left and a decimation of Mamata Banerjee, the 49-year old politician was elected to the West Bengal Legislative Assembly from Kanthi Dakshin.

In the 2009 General Elections, which gave the first hint of "Poriborton (change)" in the Left's citadel, Adhikari won from Tamluk defeating CPI-M's Lakhsman Seth.

Nine years after spearheading the land movement, Adhikari was elected to assembly again from the Nandigram constituency in 2016, which saw the return of the Trinamool for the second consecutive time.

Adhikari's name was popped up in the Saradha chit fund scam as arrested Saradha head Sudipto Sen had alleged that he had met the then Trinamool leader before fleeing off to Kashmir.

However, the former Trinamool leader rejected such allegations.

Trinamool seems undeterred by Suvendu's exit

Though the Trinamool top brass left no stone unturned to keep Adhikari in the party fold by holding close-door meetings, the ruling party is now trying to portray an image of "no worry" about its leader's exit.

West Bengal Minister and a key Trinamool leader, Firhad Hakim, said, "Mamata Banerjee is the result of a huge struggle. If someone thinks that he will hurt the Trinamool by leaving party, that is not the case."

In a scathing attack on Adhikari, Trinamool MP Kalyan Banerjee said, "You have touched Mamata Banerjee’s feet for 10 years in the same way you touched Amit Shah’s feet on stage today. If the party was indeed rotten for you, why didn’t you leave earlier? Does this not mean that you are the one who is rotten.

"Suvendu has lied today in his bid to defect to another party. Did you not feel any shame in claiming that there has been no development?"

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