BJP prepares to face TMC Suvendu Adhikari’s coup during Amit Shah’s visit

Written by Liz Mathew, Atri Mitra | Kolkata, New Delhi |

16 December 2020 05:10:01

Trinamool Congress Leader Suvendu Adhikari

Trinamool Congressional Leader Suvendu Adhikari, who resigned from the West Bengal government and other posts last month, will join the BJP during Interior Minister Amit Shah’s visit to the state on December 19-20, according to sources. of the BJP.

During his visit to West Bengal over the weekend, Shah is expected to face demonstrations in at least three districts, including East Midnapore, where Adhikari’s father and two brothers represent two Lok Sabha constituencies and an Assembly seat. Adhikari was elected by the Nandigram constituency.

“Adhikari is expected to join the BJP at the rally (East Midnapore) as of now,” a BJP source said. However, the sources also claimed that Adhikari had previously returned on two membership dates that he had committed to the leadership of the party.

Sources said Adhikari plans to visit New Delhi on Thursday for talks with the BJP leadership.

On Tuesday, BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya called Adhikari to wish him his birthday, further fueling speculation. Adhikari’s aides said the bridges had been cleared for his formal membership. Sources said he would step down from primary membership in the TMC on December 17 or 18.

In a new attack on Tuesday, Adhikari distanced himself further from the TMC leadership and said that “people from other states cannot be treated as strangers.”

He was referring to the “insider-outsider” debate sparked by the TMC leadership to counter the BJP in next year’s Assembly polls. The TMC has often criticized the BJP for sending its leaders from other states to prepare for Assembly elections.

“Our identity is first that of an Indian and then that of a Bengali,” Adhikari said. Saying that Bengal is a very important part of India, Adhikari said that those who “come from other states cannot be treated as outsiders”.

Striking at the leadership of the TMC, Adhikari said: “Why should there be a ‘by party, for party, party’ government in Bengal? This is a democracy. We must restore the rules according to the Indian Constitution which states “by the people, by the people and for the people” … I will stand beside the people, for the people and with the people … I will clarify my position soon. The Suvendu Adhikari family is not just 5-7 people. My family is in every village in Bengal… ”he said.

“There are some people who are trying to vilify me by saying I crave posts. I want to tell them they will receive an adequate response in the next polls of the assembly, ”he said.

With Adhikari expressing concern for his safety in the state, senior BJP leaders had met Shah last month to seek more security cover for him. Its safety has now been updated to category Z.

Sources in the BJP admitted that Adhikari’s membership of the BJP would be a “big gain” for the party in West Bengal. “Unlike many others, Adhikari has a clean image and is considered a mass leader. His exit from the TMC government has already hit the party hard. That’s why she persuaded him to change his mind, “a source said.

Another BJP leader said Adhikari had “some doubts about joining the BJP because he feared that the Muslim support base in his area could become hostile.”

Sources in the BJP said Adhikari could influence votes in at least 40 Assembly constituencies in six districts.

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