'Not traitor, come from land of patriots Medinipur'

Not traitor, come from land of patriots Medinipur: Suvendu Adhikari

Adhikari alleged that time and again, he had been given a raw deal by the ruling party's leadership after getting tough assignments done

BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari. Credit: PTI Photo

BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari, who recently jumped the ship from the TMC, said he is not a traitor as is being represented by his former party and hails from Medinipur, a land of patriots.

Maintaining that he had given oxygen to the TMC in its hour of need, Adhikari alleged that time and again, he had been given a raw deal by the ruling party's leadership after getting tough assignments done.

"The TMC which had been erased in the 2003 panchayat elections and was reduced to only one MP in 2004, could make a comeback in Paschim Medinipur district only in 2009," Adhikari, the backbone of the 2007 Nandigram movement said.

The former state transport minister had joined the BJP along with nine MLAs, five of whom were from the TMC, and a party MP during Union Home Minister Amit Shah's rally in Medinipur on December 19.

"I have the right to join any political party as a general voter after having resigned from every post in the Mamata Banerjee dispensation," he said.

Adhikari said that the TMC government changes the names of the central schemes to claim that those have been introduced by the state administration.

Addressing a massive rally after leading a roadshow in this mofussil town in Paschim Medinipur district, Adhikari alleged that the TMC concentrates its leadership in Kolkata only and denies representation from rural areas.

Ten of the TMC's 21 Lok Sabha MPs and most of the ministers hail from Kolkata, he said.

"I am not a traitor. I come from Medinipur which is the land of patriots like Matangini Hazra, Khudiram Bose and Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. I am a descendant of that legacy," Adhikari said.

The BJP leader, without naming anyone, said a person who joined the party in 2011 and went on to become the Diamond Harbour MP was making big claims.

He said that the meeting addressed by BJP chief J P Nadda in Diamond Harbour on December 10 was only for party functionaries.

Diamond Harbour MP and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's nephew Abhishek Banerjee has claimed that Nadda's rally in his constituency was poorly attended.

"Even a mandal chief can organise a meeting of 10,000 people given the clout that the BJP has now," he said.

Adhikari said he will soon organise a rally in Diamond Harbour.

Criticising the TMC for allegedly attacking turncoat Barddhaman Purba MP Sunil Mandal's vehicle in front of a BJP office in Kolkata, Adhikari, who also went there, said, "They had questioned why we left the party? I want to ask why you quit the Congress in 1998?"

The TMC supporters had also raised slogans against Adhikari as he was leaving the BJP office in Hastings area of Kolkata on Saturday.

Adhikari said that the assembly election due in April-May next year will be free and fair as central forces and not the state police will provide security.

He claimed that no industry will come to West Bengal due to the Mamata Banerjee government's land policy.

"Your land policy will not let any industry come to the state," he said, talking about the proposed deep-sea port in Purba Medinipur's Tajpur, for which the chief minister has announced that an expression of interest (EOI) will be advertised soon.

Adhikari said he had no power as a minister and was only a "lamppost".

"Only one person holds all posts in this state," he said.

He claimed that the state government abolished permanent jobs in the administration and was filling those posts with contractual job holders.

"It is because of them that the state has two crore unemployed people," he said, while praising the erstwhile CPI (M)-led Left Front government for having given around 15,000 jobs each year through the state service commission.

He accused the TMC of corruption in every sphere from MGNREGA to distribution of relief in the aftermath of super cyclone Amphan.