Battleground Nandigram: Suvendu files nomination accompanied by Smriti Irani and Dharmendra Pradhan

Battleground Nandigram: Suvendu files nomination accompanied by Smriti Irani and Dharmendra Pradhan

Biswabrata Goswami

HALDIA, 12 MARCH: Once considered to be a pivot in changing the 34-year Left Front rule in West Bengal, Nandigram has once again become a polestar of West Bengal Assembly election from where Suvendu Adhikari, a prime architect of Nandigram anti-land acquisition movement has filed his nomination papers today.

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After leading a-km-long roadshow, accompanied by Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Smriti Irani, Mr Adhikari filed his papers at the sub-divisional office (SDO) in Haldia.

Union Minister Smriti Irani launched a scathing attack on West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee as she rallied in Haldia for BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari. 

Countering TMC’s popular campaign slogan “Bengal wants its daughter”, Ms Irani questioning a roaring crowd “which daughter does Bengal want? The one who thrashes an 80-yr-old woman? or who murders BJP workers? Who doesn’t allow Durga idol immersion and Saraswati Puja? Who recites Chandipath in Nandigram and says Khela Hobe?”

Referring to the ‘Khela Hobe (Game On)’ slogan coined by the rival Trinamul Congress, Ms Irani said Mamata ‘Didi’ is causing chaos in the state of Bengal and playing with the lives of women and children. Stating that people across the nation were benefited by the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat Yojna, the Union Minister alleged that the TMC Supremo deprived people of the government’s schemes. 

She also said, “Mamata Didi, do as you like, but only (PM Narendra) Modi will bring ashol paribartan (real change) in Bengal.”

Mr Adhikari’s nomination was being filed amid high-octane drama over the alleged attack on Miss Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram. On Thursday, she spoke from the hospital and said that she will return to campaigning in two days and will do rallies from the wheelchair.

Earlier today, Suvendu offered prayers at a temple in Nandigram. In a tweet yesterday, Suvendu said, “Tomorrow (12 March), I will be at the Haldia SDO office in order to file my nomination as a BJP candidate from Nandigram constituency. Do join us near Manjushree in Haldia from 10.30 am onwards, as we take the first step towards making HISTORY.”

“There is a lack of employment opportunities in the State. To bring change, we need to remove this TMC. TMC has turned into a private company, where only ‘Didi’ and ‘Bhaipo’ can speak freely,” Mr Adhikari said ahead of filing nomination.

He also said, “I hope to receive people’s blessings. I’m confident people will support BJP & bring it for real development in West Bengal. There is no question of any competition. BJP won 18 Parliamentary seats in 2019 & it will form a strong govt this time with a huge margin.”

Mr Adhikari after filing nomination papers, said, “The journey to bring Real change and recreate a Sonar Bangla starts.”

He added, “Honoured to stand with the people of Nandigram all these years and it’s my duty to be by their side in the future as well.”

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said, “Two days ago, Didi said I had been lathi-charged in Nandigram, but it was Suvendu bhai who got hit first and fought in 2006-2007 (for land acquisition movement).”

Earlier, Mr Pradhan paid tribute to revolutionary Matangini Hazra, who participated in the freedom struggle, in Tamluk.

Mr Adhikari visited Singha Bahini Temple and Janaki Nath Temple at Sonachura in Nandigram and sought blessings. He also talked with the family members of the people who died in the Nandigram agitation.

After meeting with the locals in Nandigram, he said – “My relationship with them is very old. Mamata Banerjee remembers them every 5 years when polls come. They will defeat her. I am also filing my nomination, I am a voter of Nandigram.” 

The battle for Nandigram has become a prestige issue for Mamata Banerjee as the BJP leader challenged to contest from Nandigram and had vowed to defeat her with a margin of 50,000 votes.

The presence of top Modi government ministers during Adhikari’s nomination filing further underlines the significance attached to the Nandigram seat. Earlier on 10 March, chief minister Mamata Banerjee filed her nomination papers from the Nandigram seat. 

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