The marginalization of the Adhikari family continued on Wednesday as Lok Sabha MP Sisir Adhikari was removed as the East Midnapore district president of TMC. While West Bengal Minister for Water Resources Soumen Mahapatra, a known detractor of the Adhikari family, replaced him, Adhikari was made chairman of the core committee of the TMC's district unit which is perceived as a less important post. Earlier, he was was divested of the post of Digha Sankarpur Development Authority Board chairman. This action against the Kanthi MP comes weeks after his son Suvendu, who served as the Minister for Transport, Irrigation, and Water Resources in the West Bengal Cabinet, switched allegiance to BJP.
Sisir Adhikari has not only represented Kanthi Parliamentary constituency since 2009 but also served as the Union Minister of State for Rural Development in the Congress-led UPA government. On January 1, Suvendu Adhikari's brother Soumendu had joined BJP after being removed as the Contai Municipality administrator. On the other hand, his other brother Bibyendu is currently a TMC Member of Parliament from the Tamluk constituency. As the Adhikari family is believed to have an influence in at least 50 Assembly constituencies, the exit of Suvendu and Soumendu is seen as a blow to the ruling TMC ahead of the WB Assembly polls.
Suvendu Adhikari, who had resigned from the West Bengal Cabinet on November 27, 2020, also resigned from the primary membership of the Mamata Banerjee-led party. Though the ex-Nandigram MLA had submitted a letter resigning as the MLA on December 16, it was not accepted as no date was specified. On December 21, West Bengal Speaker Biman Banerjee accepted his resignation after the latter personally deposed before him.
Apart from Adhikari, former MLAs Silbhadra Dutta, Tapasi Mondal, Ashoke Dinda, Sudip Mukherjee, Saikat Panja, Dipali Biswas, Sukra Munda, Shyamapda Mukherjee, Biswajit Kundu and Banasri Maity and TMC MP Sunil Mondal joined BJP in presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah at a rally in Midnapore on December 19. BJP is looking to make major inroads in the WB Assembly election due in April-May 2021 buoyed by its win in 18 out of 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in the 2019 General Election. Both Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president JP Nadda have predicted that the party will win more than 200 seats in the WB polls.