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Mamata files nomination from Nandigram, exudes confidence of a big win

Mamata files nomination from Nandigram, exudes confidence of a big win
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Haldia: Filing her nomination papers from Nandigram constituency in East Midnapore after reaching the district's SDO office concluding a rally that saw a sea of people, Trinamool Congress Chairperson Mamata Banerjee stated that "people of Nandigram will only vote in her favour".

Banerjee reached the office of the SDO, where she filed her nomination, amidst loud cheers of party workers shouting 'khela hobe' slogan. She has been in Nandigram since Tuesday. She took part in a series of political programmes there.

"I always wanted to fight elections either from Singur or Nandigram. I've never returned empty-handed from here. So, this time, I seek the blessings of the people of this auspicious land. I sought their permission to contest from here and they greeted me with loud cheers. Hence, I am filing my nomination today (Wednesday). I'm sure people of Bengal will elect me," she said after filing her nomination.

Proposer for Banerjee were Sushama Maity, widow of martyr Bhagirath Maity, and Abdul Sammad, a crucial leader of Bhumi Uchchhed Pratirodh Committee that fought against land acquisition in Nandigram. The two other proposers were the president of Nandigram I block Swadesh Ranjan Das and Nandigram II block Mahadeb Bagh. Banerjee filed her nomination at 1:48 pm and handed over her nomination papers to Deputy Magistrate Kishore Kumar Biswas. Banerjee's chief election agent is Sheik Sufiyan.

Party workers beat drums and showered flower petals when Banerjee approached the SDO office to file her nomination to contest from this election's most talked-about seat, Nandigram, the land of a mega movement, which had witnessed her fight against the acquisition of agricultural plots.

This is the first time ever that any Chief Minister is contesting from Nandigram Assembly constituency that gained significance in Bengal politics since 2007 when 14 villagers were killed in police firing during a protest against land acquisition for a chemical hub.

Hundreds of supporters lined on both sides of the road outside the SDO office and greeted her as she came out of the building after filing her nomination.

"It is a dream come true with Mamata Didi contesting the election from Nandigram. The erstwhile Left Front government had taken away our brothers in police firing. Didi has given us a lot in the past 10 years and now she is going to become Chief Minister for the third consecutive terms after getting elected from this land. What more do we want? 'Khela hobe' (game is on)," said a TMC worker from Nandigram.

Nandigram has taken the centre stage this election with the state's Chief Minister contesting from the constituency. BJP has fielded defector Suvendu Adhikari, who joined the saffron brigade a few months ago leaving the TMC. In 2016, Adhikari's name was announced by none other than Banerjee as a candidate from Nandigram. This time with Adhikari joining BJP, the seven-time MP and the first woman Chief Minister of Bengal herself chose to contest from Nandigram to give a befitting reply to the Opposition.

According to a veteran politician, Adhikari is nothing before Banerjee who had become first and the country's one of the youngest MPs by defeating a senior CPI(M) leader like Somnath Chatterjee. Despite her setback in 1989 before CPI(M)'s Malini Bhattacharya, she won in all the Parliamentary polls from 1991 to 2009 from Kolkata South Lok Sabha seat and became Union Minister of State for Human Resources Development, Youth Affairs and Sports, and Women and Child Development in 1991 besides serving as Union minister for Coal and Mines. During her two terms as Railway minister, Bengal was highly benefitted mainly with her Metro projects that are now getting implemented one after the other. She had left Congress and formed the TMC in 1998. The party soon came up as the main Opposition against the Left.

"There are many but Nandigram and Singur are synonymous to Banerjee's movement against atrocities on poor people. Her struggles during these two movements prepared the path to oust the 34-year-long Left Front regime in 2011 and this time she herself is contesting from Nandigram. This is a separate sentiment altogether for the people here. They are overwhelmed with her decision to contest from here. So this election is a 'smiley' election for her," the leader said.

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