Suvendu Adhikari has filed his nomination as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from Nandigram ahead of the West Bengal Assembly elections on Friday.
Suvendu will take on his former mentor and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram. Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Smriti Irani accompanied Suvendu when he filed his nomination.
“I hope to receive the public’s blessings. I'm confident that people will support the BJP and bring it to power for real development in West Bengal. There is no question of any competition. BJP won 18 parliamentary seats in 2019 and it will form a strong government this time with a huge margin,” Suvendu said before filing his nomination.
He also met with locals of Nandigram ahead of filing his nomination papers. “My relationship with the people here is quite old. Didi remembers them every five years when polls come. The people will defeat her. I am also filing my nomination, I am a voter of Nandigram,” Suvendu said.
Suvendu slammed the Trinamool Congress (TMC) over the development in the state. “There is a lack of employment opportunities in the State. To bring change, we need to remove this TMC. TMC has turned into a private company, where only ‘Didi’ and ‘Bhaipo’ can speak freely,” he said referring to Mamata Banerjee and her nephew Abhishek Banerjee.
Meanwhile, TMC leaders continue to slam that the Election Commission (EC) for lapses in security that led to the alleged attack on Mamata at Nandigram on Thursday. “Six TMC MLAs are meeting the Election Commission of India today. Immediately after the EC replaced the Additional Director General of Law and Order and DG, this incident happened. The entire responsibility is with EC to prove where the lapses are and why it has happened,” TMC leader Partha Chatterjee said.
TMC MP Saugata Roy said the EC must conduct a neutral inquiry into the incident. “Removal of senior officers and then injury to Mamata Ji suggest the law and order situation is worsening in West Bengal. We see a conspiracy behind this, we are not taking any party’s name. When the matter will be investigated, it will be revealed. We expect neutral inquiry from the EC,” Roy said.
On Thursday, deligations from TMC and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) held separate meetings with the EC concerning the alleged on Mamata. After the meeting, the TMC criticized the EC and alleged that there is nexus between BJP and the TMC. “On March 9, the EC changed the DGP. On March 10, a BJP MP posted on social media, ‘Aap samajh jayenge, 5 pm ke baad kya hone wala hai’ (You will understand, after 5 pm what will happen) and it happened to Mamata Didi at 6 pm. We condemn these incidents and want the truth to prevail,” he said on Thursday.
Now, the Election Commission has given a strong reply to the TMC. In a strongly-worded letter, the EC said while Mamata’s injuries are unfortunate, it looks "undignified to even respond" to the allegations that the Commission is doing things in West Bengal at the behest of one “particular party”. “Having said that it is rather unfortunate that the memorandum in question is full of insinuations and averments, which questions the very basis of creation and functioning of Election Commission,” the letter said.