BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari on Friday confirmed that his disgruntled brother and TMC leader Soumendu -- recently removed from the post of administrator at Contai Municipality -- will join the saffron camp along with a host of other leaders from the state's ruling party. Asserting that the TMC, of which he was a part till about a month ago, will disintegrate soon, Adhikari, during a meeting in Purba Medinipur, claimed that Soumendu, together with a few councillors and 5,000 TMC workers, will switch over to the saffron party later in the day. All eyes are now at the other two members of Adhikari household who are still in the TMC camp -- MPs Dibyendu and Sisir. Incidentally, it is the foundation day of Trinamool Congress today.
Adhikari said on the occasion of the Mamata Banerjee-led party's Foundation Day, "My younger brother Soumendu will join the BJP in Contai today. He will be accompanied by several councillors and 5,000 TMC grassroots workers. The TMC will steadily disintegrate."
Taking action against the West Bengal government, Soumendu Adhikari on Thursday filed a petition before the Calcutta High Court challenging his removal from the post of administrator of Contai Municipality in Purba Medinipur district. Adhikari claimed that he has been illegally removed by the West Bengal government's Municipal Affairs Department from the post of administrator of the civic body. Adhikari was the chairman of Contai Municipality till the term of the board expired in 2019. He was then appointed as its administrator since elections were postponed owing to the COVID-19 pandemic situation. Senior lawyer Bikash Bhattacharya, representing Adhikari, said that the matter is likely to come up for hearing before a bench of the high court next week after it reopens after the winter vacation. On December 30, days after Suvendu Adhikari joined BJP, Bengal government removed his brother Soumendu Adhikari from the post of Chairperson of Contai Municipality and placed Siddhartha Maity at the position.
On December 17, Suvendu Adhikari officially quit the Trinamool and joined BJP in presence of ex- BJP chief Amit Shah. In his letter after resignation, Adhikari blamed the sidelining of leaders and said that Mamata has betrayed the party ideals. He said that a "deep rot and malaise" has set in the party, and asserted that "individuals in charge of the party currently are treating it as their personal fiefdom." In an apparent dig at Prashant Kishor, who is the political strategist of TMC for 2021 polls, said that those who have no idea about the sacrifices of the party are being hired to assist the party. Adhikari - the mastermind of 2007 Nandigram agitation - holds influence in about 35 assembly constituencies in West Midnapore, Bankura, Purulia, Jhargram and Birbhum districts.
West Bengal assembly with 294 seats will go to polls in April-May 2021, Trinamool holds 222 seats. BJP has made major inroads in the state in the Lok Sabha elections winning 18 seats and establishing itself as the major Opposition force in the state. Recently TMC trumped BJP in all 3 bypolls but the BJP is using its booth-level strategy, has placed its top leaders including Amit Shah and JP Nadda in the state for winning the upcoming elections.