Just a day ahead of filing nomination papers from the Nandigram seat, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she won’t go ahead with the process if the people do not want her to.
“If you don’t want me to file the nomination, I will not, but if you consider me your daughter then I will move ahead with filing my nomination,” the Trinamool Congress supremo said at a public rally in Nandigram on Tuesday.
Mamata took potshots at the Bharatiya Janata Party for calling her an “outsider”. BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari, stringing Banerjee for “running away” from her Bhowanipore seat in Kolkata, had said that he is 200 percent sure of handsomely defeating the TMC supremo, who is an “outsider” in Nandigram seat.
“Some people are saying that I am an outsider. I, being a Bengali, is an outsider and you people who are from Delhi are not outsiders,” she asked.
Mamata Banerjee will file her nomination papers from the Nandigram seat on March 10, while her rival and BJP candidate Suvendu Adhikari will do the same two days later, as the stage is set for the Battle Royale in the constituency. Adhikari will file the nomination on March 12.
Nandigram, the cradle of the anti-land acquisition movement that catapulted Banerjee to power in 2011, will witness her once protege Suvendu Adhikari taking on her on April 1, in the second of the eight phases of polling.
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.
The former minister had quit the TMC and resigned from the assembly last year to join the BJP after having differences with the state’s ruling party.
On the other hand, Banerjee will contest the Nandigram seat for the first time after relinquishing the Bhowanipore constituency in Kolkata, from where she had won twice. The TMC supremo has rented a house in Nandigram and will campaign from there.
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. Votes will be counted on May 2.