Mamata to contest from Nandigram
I consider this land to be auspicious & lucky, says TMC supremo; indicates might contest from Bhowanipore as well
Nandigram: Trinamool Congress (TMC) chairperson and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday announced that she will contest the forthcoming Assembly polls from Nandigram — the epicentre of the farmers' movement in 2006 and had paved the way for the party's landslide victory in 2011.
She would also contest from her home turf, Bhowanipore in South Kolkata, from where she is an MLA at present.
"Nandigram is in my heart and soul. I will contest from here. I had announced the first candidate of 2016 Assembly polls from Nandigram. I consider this land to be auspicious and lucky. So, this time too, I am announcing the first candidate from here," Banerjee said addressing a mammoth rally at Tekhali.
The moment the TMC chief made the announcement the crowd burst into loud applause and started shouting slogans in favour of her decision to contest from Nandigram.
"I would request the party's state president Subrata Bakshi to consider my candidature from Nandigram. I will put a strong candidate from Bhowanipore also. I may also contest from Bhowanipore. I do not want to hurt the sentiments of the people there," Banerjee said, adding that she loves Nandigram and will never forget the sacrifice of the martyrs for land rights. In the same breath, she took a jibe at the BJP by extending her support to farmers at Singhu border. All MLAs of the party from East and West Midnapore, who attended the meeting, joined Banerjee when she gave the slogan to oust BJP in the forthcoming Assembly polls.
Bakshi urged the party workers to ensure Banerjee's win from Nandigram with a record margin so that it remains written in golden letters in the annals of history.
It is worth mentioning that it's nothing new for a leader to contest from two seats as Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also done the same from Vadodara and Varanasi in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Banerjee's announcement gained significance as Suvendu Adhikari, who recently joined BJP, was elected from Nandigram in 2016. Without naming anyone, Banerjee also took a dig at the defectors saying that she would congratulate them if they become the country's President, Vice-President or Prime Minister. But she will not allow the turncoats to sell Bengal till her last breath.
Urging party workers to carry out necessary tasks in Nandigram, Banerjee said she has to hold campaigns in all the 294 Assembly constituencies before the elections and would take care of all the work for further development of Nandigram after the elections.
Recollecting her fight for the rights of farmers against forcible acquisition of land at Nandigram to set up a chemical hub in 2006, the party supremo said: "Press was not allowed to enter Nandigram for seven to eight days after Operation Sunshine. Bodies of many were untraced. The then Officer-in-Charge was capturing photographs and the CPI(M)-backed goons were firing bullets. Even, I was attacked. Petrol bombs were hurled at my car and I had entered Nandigram on a youth's motorbike," she said. Banerjee further added that she will not accept any one else's claim on the Nandigram struggle as she was connected to the very roots of the movement. Wall graffiti can be seen already in Nandigram in Mamata Banerjee's name.
Meanwhile, turncoat Suvendu Adhikari stated that he will either defeat the TMC supremo by half a lakh votes or leave politics.