No place for traitors in Bengal politics: TMC

·3-min read

Contai (WB), Dec 23 (PTI) Senior Trinamool Congress leaders on Wednesday lashed out at party turncoat Suvendu Adhikari, who has recently joined the BJP, saying there is no place for 'traitors' in the politics of West Bengal.

Adhikari's joining of hands with 'forces that spread hate and divide people' will not be accepted by the people of his home district Purba Medinipur, they said.

Veteran TMC MP Sougata Roy, addressing a rally at Contai, known to be the Adhikari family's bastion, said, 'Contai is not the zamindari of any family.' 'Taking out two urns of water doesn't impact an ocean.

The exit of anyone from our party will not cause any dent in our support base in the district,' he said.

Castigating Adhikari for joining the saffron party, Roy said, 'On one hand, he is paying tributes to freedom fighters from Tamluk and on the other, he is holding the hands of the forces that opposed the nationalist movement. He has lost his credibility after joining the Hindutva forces.' Roy said Adhikari is not a heavyweight in the district as is being projected and he had lost the first two by- elections to the Lok Sabha and assembly after joining the TMC.

'Suvendu is not a heavyweight. After losing the first two by-elections, he was fielded by Mamata Banerjee in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls and he won.

'He also won in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and the 2016 assembly polls, all with the party's backing. He had held three ministerial portfolios. Now, what all is he saying?' the Dumdum MP said.

Accusing Adhikari of resorting to falsehood and doublespeak now, Roy said, 'After having spoken with Abhishek Banerjee (TMC youth wing chief and Mamata Banerjee's nephew) on December 1 in the presence of me and some other leaders, Suvendu did a volte-face and now, he is giving a call to unseat Abhishek from power.' Branding Adhikari a 'traitor', Roy accused him of bringing down the level of West Bengal politics to a 'new low'.

'The chief minister has constructed metalled roads connecting different parts of the district and the credit does not go to any Mir Jafar or agents of the BJP,' he said.

Roy said BJP leaders like Union Home Minister Amit Shah, party chief J P Nadda and national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya and are 'frequently hopping' from outside the state with a 'daydream' to secure over 200 seats in the assembly elections.

Elections to the 294-member assembly are likely to be held in April-May next year.

'The BJP will not cross the three-digit mark,' he said.

Roy said the TMC supremo is being targeted because of her stringent criticism of the 'anti-people' policies of the Centre.

'Suvendu has joined hands with the party that has brought the anti-farmer new farm laws,' he said.

Urban Development Minister and Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim said he is feeling ashamed to be called a former colleague of Adhikari.

'I am ashamed of your (Adhikari's) conduct. You are bending before Amit Shah to touch his feet. What prompted you to do this? For the fear of going to jail?' Hakim said.

Rubbishing Adhikari's charge that the TMC is driven by dynastic politics, Hakim said, 'I am the first person from my family to join politics. I have climbed stairs to reach this far whereas Suvendu entered politics because of his father Sisir Adhikari (presently Kanthi MP),' he said.

Earlier, Hakim and Roy had led a huge TMC rally in the district, passing by Adhikari's residence to reach the venue.

Adhikari's family members, who are still with the TMC, were, however, conspicuous by their absence from the rally.