Kolkata, January 18
BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari on Monday accepted the challenge thrown by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to contest from his Nandigram assembly seat, asserting he will defeat her in the election or quit politics.
The TMC turncoat, however, said the final decision to field candidates will be taken by the BJP leadership after thorough discussion and not in an arbitrary way like in the ruling TMC.
Banerjee sprang a surprise earlier in the day when she declared she will contest the assembly election from Nandigram, the seat held by political heavyweight Adhikari.
“If I am fielded by my party from Nandigram, I will defeat her by a margin of at least 50,000 votes or I will quit politics,” he asserted.
Adhikari, however, said unlike the TMC, which is run “autocratically” by Banerjee and her nephew Abhishek, in BJP the candidates are decided after discussion and it was for the party to take a call on his candidature.
“I don’t know from where I will be fielded, whether I will be fielded,” he said, addressing BJP workers after a three-km roadshow.
He said Banerjee remembers Nandigram only before elections, and accused her of giving extension four times to an IPS officer involved in the Nandigram firing.
Banerjee, Adhikari alleged, was playing with the sentiments of the people of Nandigram. “That will not work this time and her party will be democratically dumped into the Bay of Bengal.”
Adhikari claimed not more than 30,000 people, mostly brought from other places, attended Banerjee’s meeting at Tekhali in Nandigram on Monday. — PTI