Nandigram: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is campaigning hard for her party, will file her nomination for the Nandigram seat on Wednesday to contest the upcoming assembly election in the state. The TMC chief had arrived in Nandigram on March 9 and has begun her poll campaign by visiting a temple and a mausoleum on Tuesday.
The Chief Minister is set to face her former close aide-turned-bete noire Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP in Nandigram and claimed that she “does not believe in divisive politics”.
The TMC supremo, after addressing a party workers’ meeting, paid her reverence at the local Mazar, popular among members of the minority community here, and then offered prayers at the “Maa Chandi” temple nearby.
As she entered the temple, women, who lined up next to the shrine, blew conch shells to greet her. At the mausoleum, too, she was extended a warm welcome. Next, Banerjee visited a roadside stall, where she prepared tea for the customers, much to the astonishment of the shop owner. Mamata Banerjee recited the ‘Chandipath’ as she launched her poll campaign for the Nandigram seat asserting and dared the BJP to not play to play the ‘Hindu card’ against her.
Attacking the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), she said, “Those who are talking about 70:30 ratio should know that I read “Chandi path” every morning before leaving home. I am the daughter of a Hindu family. Do not dare to play the Hindu card with me. I challenge them to have a competition with me in ‘Chandipath`.”
She further chanted shlokas of `Chandipath` on the stage. “Om Jayanti Mangala Kali Bhadrakali Kapalini, Durga Kshama Shiva Dhatri Swaha Swadha Namoastutte….” “They are insulting the sacred Nandigram movement and playing the communal card. People of Nandigram will make BJP ‘April fool’ on April 1 during the polling,” the Chief Minister asserted.
On the “insider versus outsider” debate, Banerjee said, “Some people are calling me an outsider in Nandigram. I was born and brought up in the neighbouring Birbhum district. Today I have become an outsider. And, those coming from Gujarat are now insiders?”
“If you do not want me to file the nomination, I will not. But, if you consider me your daughter, then I will move ahead with filing my nomination,” she added.
The CM, while talking to reporters, said several welfare projects have been launched by her government in Nandigram over the past 10 years, “as is evident from the metalled roads, streetlights and bustling marketplaces, and more such work will be undertaken in the days to come”.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has been representing the Bhawanipur constituency will contest this Assembly election from the Nandigram seat. According to reports, she will file her nomination at Haldia today.
BJP had on Saturday released its first list of 57 candidates for the polls and fielded Suvendu Adhikari from Nandigram against Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee, setting the stage for a high-profile contest from the seat in the state Assembly elections.
Adhikari, once a close aide of Banerjee has switched to BJP in December, last year. West Bengal is likely to witness a triangular contest this time with TMC, Congress-Left alliance and the BJP in the fray. West Bengal Assembly elections will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 with the final round of voting taking place on April 29.
The counting of votes will take place on May 2.