The political development is significant since Nandigram was represented by party rebel Suvendu Adhikari, who crossed over to the BJP last month.
In the state election due by May, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has announced that she will contest from Nandigram. The political development is significant since Nandigram was represented by party rebel Suvendu Adhikari, who crossed over to the BJP last month.
“I will contest from Nandigram. Nandigram is my lucky place,” Banerjee announced in a public meeting in Nandigram. She could contest the election from two constituencies, including Bhowanipur in Kolkata, the chief minister said.
“If possible, I will contest from both Bhowanipore and Nandigram. In case I am unable to contest from Bhawanipore, someone else would contest,” Banerjee said.
It should be noted that Mamata Banerjee’s campaign for farmers’ land in Nandigram propelled her to power in the 2011 assembly election, when she won by a landslide defeating the incumbent left.
Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress crafted the “Ma, Maati, Manush” campaign in 2007 after 14 were killed in clashes between protesters against an SEZ project in Nandigram, cleared by the Left government. The campaign led to the end of the decades-long left rule in West Bengal.
The Chief Minister’s return to Nandigram is considered a direct challenge to party rebel Suvendu Adhikari, who led an exodus of Trinamool leaders to the BJP and defected in a mega rally in December in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
Mr Adhikari rose to top ranks in TMC after his role in swaying the Nandigram narrative towards the party, making it almost unbeatable in rural Bengal. A close aid of Banerjee in 2007, Mr Adhikari snatched Nandigram from the Left, catapulting the Trinamool to power. Even last year, he won the seat by a huge margin.
After the announcement by Mamata Banerjee, the approaching election will become interesting and significantly defining for the CM as she as she takes on her once-trusted lieutenant, now one of the BJP’s prime movers in Bengal.
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