West Bengal Assembly election 2021, Suvendu Adhikari profile: TMC turncoat defeats former mentor Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram

FP Research

Mamata Banerjee's protégé-turned-rival Suvendu Adhikari defeated the West Bengal Chief Minister from the Nandigram Assembly constituency by a slender margin of 1,956 votes.

While Adhikari bagged 1,10,764 votes, Banerjee polled 1,08, 808 votes, the poll panel confirmed.

Also in the fray was former student leader and CPM candidate Minakshi Mukherjee, who came a distant third with just 6267, according to the EC.

Nandigram went to polls in the second of eight phases on 1 April.

Adhikari's candidature was announced on 6 March, months after he joined the BJP in December. A staunch support behind Banerjee during the land agitation of Nandigram, he had resigned as the state transport minister in November 2020.

Born and brought up in Nandigram, Adhikari has earned the reputation of bhumiputra (son of the soil) in the constituency.

Adhikari has completed 25 years of his political journey and belongs to a family that has influence over the East Midnapore district. His father Sisir Adhikari was a former TMC MP and a union minister during the Manmohan Singh-led government at the Centre. His brother Dibyendu Adhikari was elected from Tamluk Lok Sabha in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

His political journey started in 1995 when he was elected as a councillor from Indian National Congress in the Contai Municipality. In 2006, he was elected to West Bengal Vidhan Sabha from Kanthi Dakshin constituency as member of AITC, a position he resigned from mid-term to join Lok Sabha. In 2009 and 2016, he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Tamluk Lok Sabha constituency. However, he resigned as a Member of Parliament in 2016 when he was elected as MLA from Nandigram.

The Muslim community in Nandigram, which is 28 percent of the constituency's electorate and the TMC's vote bank, is expected to pose a challenge for Adhikari to prevail.

Adhikari was interrogated by the Central Bureau of Investigation in September 2014 for his alleged role in the Saradha Group financial scandal. A former employee of the company alleged the company's head Sudipto Sen met Adhikari before fleeing to Kashmir.

Shuvendu Adhikari was also accused of supplying arms to the Maoists to overthrow the CPIM government during the Nandigram movement.

The Nandigram Assembly constituency lies in the Purba Medinipur district, and is a part of the Tamluk Lok Sabha constituency.

Elections for the West Bengal Assembly will be held in eight phases, up from seven last time, beginning with polling for 30 seats on 27 March. The second phase of West Bengal's assembly elections has been scheduled for 1 April and will cover 30 constituencies, followed by the third phase on 6 April for 31 seats, the fourth on 10 April for 44 constituencies, the fifth on 17 April for 45 seats, sixth for 43 seats on 22 April, seventh phase on 26 April for 36 seats and last and eighth phase on 29 April for 35 seats.

The results of the election will be declared on 2 May.

Also See: Bengal Election Results: Counting for 292 seats to begin at 8 am today amid COVID-19 curbs

West Bengal Assembly election 2021: The importance of Nandigram seat Mamata Banerjee is contesting

West Bengal polls: Built BJP credibility in Bengal, today people trust us, says Dilip Ghosh

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