BJP MP invites disgruntled West Bengal minister Suvendu Adhikari to join party, TMC slams saffron camp

Speculation is rife that Adhikari might float his own outfit, ahead of the 2021 Assembly elections. Adhikari, a popular leader in East Midnapore, holds sway over 35 Assembly seats

Press Trust of India November 01, 2020 16:38:55 IST
BJP MP invites disgruntled West Bengal minister Suvendu Adhikari to join party, TMC slams saffron camp

File photo of Suvendu Adhikari. PTI

Kolkata: A day after senior TMC leader Suvendu Adhikari claimed his party colleagues were conspiring against him, BJYM state president Saumitra Khan on Sunday invited the transport minister to join the saffron camp.

The BJP MP also said that the TMC had "no place for honest and hardworking people", and only the saffron party could give him a platform to work freely.

The TMC leadership, however, criticised the saffron camp for trying to split the party and said that Adhikari was one of its "assets" .

The state transport minister, during his address in Purulia on Saturday, said he rose through the ranks through hard work, and did not parachute his way to success. He also said that those inducted into the party by him have now become his detractors.

"There is no place for hardworking and honest people in the TMC. Mass leaders like Suvendu Adhikari will be sidelined to pave the way for a particular MP. He should resign from the TMC and join the BJP. He will have the freedom to work in a democratic party like the BJP," Khan told reporters.

In the past, too, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh had, on several occasions, lauded Adhikari for his "strong connect with the masses".

Reacting to Khan's comment, senior TMC leader and MP Saugato Roy alleged that the BJP was trying to engineer defections in his party.

"Suvendu is an asset of the TMC. The BJP is well aware that they can't do anything on their own so they are trying to engineer defections in the party. That is the only thing they are good at," he said.

According to TMC sources, the Nandigram MLA, who had been distancing himself from the party over the last few months, is organising programmes without the TMC banner. He has also skipped several state cabinet meetings in the recent past.

Banners with 'Dadar Anugami' written on them were seen in various parts of East Midnapore district in the last two months. Speculation was rife that Adhikari might float his own outfit, ahead of the 2021 Assembly elections.

Adhikari, a popular leader in East Midnapore, holds sway over 35 Assembly seats, spanning West Midnapore, Bankura, Purulia, Jhargram and parts of Birbhum, the TMC sources said.

A close aide of Adhikari said he will organise a rally in Nandigram, the cradle of anti-land acquisition movement, on November 10 and might spell out his next course of action.

"Dada (Suvendu) will hold a meeting at Nandigram on November 10. We are waiting for his message. He did not get his due in the TMC, despite playing a key role in bringing the party to power in 2011," the aide said.

A senior TMC leader said that reconciliation efforts were underway, and the party has opened communication channels with Adhikari and his loyalists.

"We will try our best to ensure he stays in the party. The rest is up to him," the senior TMC leader said.

Suvendu is a member of the powerful Adhikari family of East Midnapore district. His father Sisir Adhikari and younger brother Dibyendu Adhikari are TMC MPs from Tamluk and the Kanthi Lok Sabha constituencies respectively.

He had played a vital role in TMC's Nandigram movement in 2007 which helped the party snatch power from the Left Front.

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