Mamata Banerjee Dares BJP; Will Contest From Suvendu Stronghold Nandigram

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Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee declared on Monday that she would contest the upcoming assembly polls from Nandigram constituency.

Making the announcement from a public meeting at Nandigram, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo threw an open challenge to the Opposition (read: BJP).

“I know Nandigram more than anybody else. During the violence orchestrated by the former Left Front government, I visited the place and stood by the common people here. I can forget my name but cannot forget Nandigram. It is a holy place. Let the opposition defeat me from this constituency,” said Mamata, adding that BJP is a ‘washing powder’ party.

Nandigram was the epicentre of a farmers’ movement in West Bengal and helped TMC capture power 10 years ago.

Mamata’s decision is all the more significant as Nandigram is known to be a stronghold of her former close aide Suvendu Adhikari, who defected to BJP last month.

Describing Nandigram as her ‘elder sister’ and her own constituency Bhawanipore as ‘younger sister’, Mamata said she could contest for both seats.

“I may fight from both seats. I am requesting our party president Subrata Bakshi to consider my candidature from both Bhawanipore and Nandigram,” the chief minister said.

According to poll analysts, Mamata’s decision to contest from Nandigram will provide extra fuel to grassroot cadres of the ruling TMC as well as pose a tough challenge to BJP, TMC’s main opposition in the elections to be held in April-May.

Countering Mamata, Suvendu said the TMC managed to gather only 30,000 people from seven districts and that he will be giving a befitting reply from his rally at Nandigram on Tuesday.

West Bengal Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury claimed that Mamata had decided to contest from Nandigram as she feels she will be defeated from Bhawanipore constituency.

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