Senior BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari will file nomination papers from the high-profile Nandigram seat on Friday. Adhikari, a TMC turncoat, will be accompanied by Union ministers Smriti Irani and Dharmendra Pradhan. Actor Mithun Chakraborty, who recently joined the BJP, will also accompany Adhikari.
Nandigram is a stronghold of Adhikari — a former minister in Mamata Banerjee’s cabinet. He was elected on a Trinamool ticket from the high profile seat in 2016 before he became a Minister in the Banerjee-led state Cabinet.
Adhikari will cross swords with Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram. Mamata filed her nomination from the seat on March 10.
He is branding Mamata as an outsider during his campaign in Nandigram. “She (Banerjee) is an outsider in Nandigram. She does not even cast her vote here. I am not only the ‘bhoomiputra’ (son of the soil of Nandigram), but also a regular voter of the area. I have been with the people of this place for several years unlike Banerjee, who comes here only during polls,” Adhikari said.
Adhikari had joined the saffron brigade in December last year. The rebel Trinamool leader has claimed that he will defeat Banerjee by over 50,000 votes.
For 50-year-old Adhikari, the contest in Nandigram will be a fight for his political survival as he had vowed to defeat Banerjee by over 50,000 votes in the seat or quit politics. Adhikari won the Nandigram seat in the 2016 assembly election, while another TMC candidate emerged victorious from the constituency in 2011.
Elections in Bengal, poised to be a stiff contest between the TMC and the BJP, will be held in eight phases between March 27 and April 29. nangigram will go to polls in the second phase. Votes will be counted on May 2.