Nandigram in Purbo Medinipur district once catapulted Mamata Banerjee to power. Fourteen years later, she will most likely be challenged by once-her-own and now BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari.
As the party prepares to draw up a list of 60 candidates for the first two phases of the assembly polls starting March 27, West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh has said that Adhikari is likely to contest from Nandigram against Banerjee.
Speaking to reporters after attending a BJP election committee meeting, Ghosh said Adhikari’s name featured in the list of possible candidates from Nandigram, which votes in the second phase.
Meanwhile, Banerjee is likely to file her nomination for the assembly polls from Nandigram on March 11. On January 18, the chief minister announced that she would contest from Nandigram as well as Bhowanipur seats.
Then, addressing a huge public rally at Tekhali in Nandigram, Banerjee had said: “Nandigram is close to my heart. I can forget my name but I cannot forget Nandigram. Considering the emotional attachment I have with the people of Nandigram, today I am announcing that I wish to contest the upcoming poll from Nandigram.”
Nandigram is considered as a strong bastion of rebel TMC leader Adhikari and Banerjee’s announcement to contest from this region could be seen as her direct challenge to the Adhikari family.
Ghosh added the party had shortlisted four-five names per seat on an average for the first two phases. The list of 60 candidates would be finalised on Thursday during a Delhi meeting to be attended by members of the central election committee.
Banerjee will release the complete list of candidates for all the 294 constituencies in West Bengal on March 5. The list will have several new faces including youth leaders, celebrities and people from the civil society. There will be at least five cabinet ministers who will be asked to contest from other constituencies, while some may not get tickets on health grounds and due to old age factors.
On the candidate’s list, Mamata had earlier said that the battle in Bengal is between her and the BJP and it does not matter who will contest on behalf of the TMC and from where. “Just think that I am contesting from all the 294 seats and vote for TMC so that we can give a befitting reply to BJP,” she had said.