Mamata Banerjee will be ‘left alone’, says Amit Shah in West Bengal rally; Suvendu Adhikari, nine other MLAs join BJP

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Shah also claimed that the BJP will ‘form the next government in West Bengal with more than 200 seats’ in the 294-member Assembly

Launching multiple attacks at Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, Union home minister Amit Shah said Saturday that the West Bengal chief minister will be left alone by the time the state Assembly elections are held next year.

Shah’s remarks came on Saturday in the backdrop of a chain of resignations from the TMC this week, including former TMC leader Suvendu Adhikari who joined the BJP at the former BJP chief’s presence.

“Why are so many people leaving Trinamool Congress? Because of the misrule, corruption and nepotism of Mamata Banerjee. Didi, this is just the beginning. By the time elections come, you will be left all alone,” Shah said at a rally in Paschim Medinipur.

He also claimed that the BJP will “form the next government in West Bengal with more than 200 seats” in the 294-member Assembly, NDTV reported.

Suvendu is the MLA of Nandigram constituency in Purba Medinipur district. He was the face of the Nandigram movement that catapulted West Bengal chief minister Mamata Bannerjee to power in 2011. The Adhikari family wields considerable influence in at least 40-45 assembly segments in West Medinipur, Bankura, Purulia, Jhargram, parts of Birbhum — mainly in the Jungle Mahal region and areas in minority-dominated Murshidabad district.

Suvendu had resigned from the Trinamool Congress earlier this week, besides giving up his position as state transport minister in the Mamata Banerjee Cabinet. He has also resigned as an MLA but it has not been accepted yet.

 

Shah also accused the TMC of indulging in “narrow politics of regionalism”. Paying tribute to revolutionary Khudiram Bose, he said the freedom fighter “is as much a pride for the whole of India as he is of Bengal”.

Garlanding the statue of Khudiram at the freedom fighter’s ancestral residence, Shah said that Bose has inspired the youths of the country with his slogan ‘Vande Mataram’ while he was hanged by the British in 1908 at the age of 18.

“I want to tell those who are doing narrow politics in Bengal that Khudiram Bose is as much a pride of India as he is of Bengal,” he said.

He said that freedom fighter Pandit Ram Prasad Bismil, who gave his life for the country, was also as much a son of Uttar Pradesh as he was of Bengal.

Shah said that those brave sons of the country who fought and made great sacrifices for Independence together “could never have imagined such narrow politics of regionalism”.

Maintaining that the country can never forget the contributions of Bengal, and its brave men in the freedom struggle, Shah said that the future generations will be inspired to work for the cause of the nation by the supreme sacrifice made by Khudiram Bose.

“With Geeta in his hands, Khudiram Bose had walked up the podium where he was hanged,” the BJP leader said, remembering one of the youngest freedom fighters to have been executed by the British imperialists.

Shah said that Bose was so popular among the people that some weavers had started weaving his name on clothes, which became an inspiration for the youths of Bengal to join the freedom movement.

Arriving at the ancestral house of Khudiram after landing at Midnapore town from Kolkata in a helicopter, the home minister greeted the revolutionary’s family members with shawls and mementos.

“I am having the feeling of a new consciousness on having had the opportunity to have touched this sacred soil on my forehead,” he said.

“I want to tell the youths that though we have not had the occasion to give our lives for the country, we have got the opportunity to live for the nation. We should endeavour for building a strong and secure India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Shah said.

The home minister interacted with the family members of Khudiram Bose for some time before visiting the centuries-old Siddheswari Mata temple nearby. He paid floral obeisance to the goddess and performed ‘aarti’.

TMC filled with individuals who don’t bother about anyone: Suvendu in open letter

After joining the saffron camp, Suvendu in an open letter addressed to the grassroots members of the Trinamool Congress, said that “an extremely deep rot and malaise” has set in to the Trinamool Congress.

“Neither West Bengal nor the Trinamool Congress isanyone’s fiefdom,” Adhikari said.

Asserting that the party was not built in one day with the contribution of one person, he wrote that it was a continuous and contiguous effort on a mammoth scale, the culmination of which was the TMC’s coming to power in WestBengal in 2011.

He alleged that the TMC, which the ordinary people built brick by brick selflessly without any desires, is now filled with individuals who do not bother about anyone but themselves.

Nine other MLAs, one MP join BJP

Besides Suvendu, nine West Bengal MLAs from various parties and Trinamool MP from Bardhaman Purba Lok Sabha constituency Sunil Mondal also joined the BJP on Saturday.

According to PTI, among the MLAs who switched over to the BJP are five from the TMC namely Banasri Maity, Silbhdrada Dutta, Biswajit Kundu, Sukra Munda and Saikat Panja.

MLA Dipali Biswas, who had won the Gajole seat in 2016 on a CPI(M) ticket but joined the TMC in 2018, was also inducted into the BJP. She has not resigned as a CPI(M) MLA.

Haldia’s CPI(M) MLA Tapasi Mandal, Tamluk’s CPI MLA Ashok Dinda and Congress MLA from Purulia Sudip Mukherjee also joined the BJP at the rally.

Former TMC MP Dasarth Tirkey also joined the BJP.

Several district-level leaders of the TMC, Left and Congress, including former minister Shyamaprasad Mukherjee, also changed sides and joined the BJP.

‘Glad, rotten tomatoes are out of TMC’

Ahead of these leaders switiching to the saffron camp, Banerjee had Friday night termed the deserters as “baggage” for the party and said it is good that rotten elements are leaving on their own.

Banerjee held an internal meeting with a select group of leaders at her residence to take stock of the situation.

According to party sources, Banerjee had told TMC leaders not to be “worried about the desertions” as the people of the state are with them.

“Our party supremo during the meeting told us not to be worried about the desertions as it is good that the rotten elements are leaving the party on their own. She said deserters were baggage for the party,” a senior TMC leader had told PTI on condition of anonymity after the closed-door meet.

With inputs from PTI

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