Suvendu Adhikari, Mamata Banerjee’s Challenger From Nandigram

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Suvendu Adhikari, the son of veteran political chief and three-time MP Sishir Adhikari.

Kolkata:

Suvendu Adhikari — friend-turned-bitter foe of Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee — not often made nationwide headlines when he was with the Trinamool Congress. But his exit from the celebration, induction within the BJP and now the face-off with Ms Banerjee from Nandigram, have immediately made him a family title, particularly with the thrill over within the coming elections within the state.

A minister in Mamata Banerjee’s authorities dealing with transport and irrigation, Mr Adhikari walked out of the celebration in December. Insiders mentioned the 50-year-old — seen as one of many leaders with a most promising profession — was vastly upset for the reason that induction and fast rise of Abhishek Banerjee, the nephew of the Chief Minister.  

Several leaders earlier than Mr Adhikari had trod the identical highway. The first of them was Mukul Roy, who was thought-about the closest confidant, troubleshooter and political advisor of Mamata Banerjee. Many thought-about him one of many celebration’s keenest strategists.  

Trinamool shrugged off Mukul Roy’s exit because the self-preserving manoeuvre of a pacesetter accused in a number of circumstances. In case of Mr Adhikari, the celebration branded him an opportunist.  

Party insiders, nonetheless, admit off the file that the exit of Mr Adhikari could pinch, particularly in his stronghold that lies throughout 4 districts and 30-plus seats.  

Mr Adhikari, the son of veteran political chief and three-time MP Sishir Adhikari, has affect over Jangalmahal — the forested space within the western a part of the state that was as soon as a Maoist hotbed.  

From his residence turf of East Midnapore, his affect stretched throughout West Midnapur, Bankura and Purulia an space that accounts for 63 meeting seats.

Mr Adhikari had made his disapproval clear earlier than he give up, vocally opposing the function given to ballot strategist Prashant Kishor forward of elections.  

Mr Kishor’s creation had created expectations that his presence would assist clean the trail of Abhishek Banerjee to the highest job in future.  

Mr Adhikari first give up the submit in Mamata Banerjee’s ministry as a warning. Later he joined the BJP, which, with 200 seats as goal, is preventing tooth and nails to unseat Mamata Banerjee.  

That their battleground could be Nandigram was anticipated. Mr Adhikari had received the seat for the celebration in 2016.  

But he’s additionally seen because the architect of the large build-up the celebration had obtained within the space with the anti-land acquisition motion that began in 2007. When Ms Banerjee received the 2011 meeting elections, bringing the 35-year-old Left citadel crashing, Nandigram was seen because the tinderbox.

With her streetfighter credentials, Mamata Banerjee was not prepared to depart the sector to him. Within days, she introduced her candidature, withdrawing from Kolkata’s Bhowanipur, seen as a protected seat.

Mr Adhikari shouldn’t be pulling punches. While his followers have declared Ms Banerjee an “outsider” in Nandigram and him the son of the soil, at this time he accused Ms Banerjee of suppressing info about six circumstances in opposition to her in her election affidavit.

At a programme held in Nandigram in reminiscence of the martyrs of 2007, he labelled Ms Banerjee an “opportunist” as effectively, saying, “Fourteen people were martyred in police firing in 2007. I have been coming here every year since 2008 to pay tribute to the sacrifices made by the people of Nandigram. Whether it is an election season or not, it hardly matters to me, unlike the opportunists who are now coming to this place”.

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