In a massive development on Friday, sources said that TMC-turned-BJP neta Suvendu Adhikari is likely to be appointed as the Chairman of the Jute Corporation of India. This implies that Suvendu, who is BJP's big pick from TMC ahead of crucial West Bengal elections, will essentially get a cabinet rank. This is significant as many Trinamool leaders are miffed with party leadership and are in talks with the saffron party which appears to make any shift worth their while.
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. He had been creating rumours for the past few months by holding rallies not under Trinamool flag or its supremo - Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's posters, and had skipped cabinet meetings. While Suvendu himself is very influential, his father Sisir Adhikari and younger brother Dibyendu Adhikari are TMC MPs from Tamluk and Kanthi Lok Sabha constituencies respectively.
In his first public meeting at Nandigram since joining BJP, Suvendu Adhikari dared the ruling TMC, to which he formerly belonged, to organise a big public meeting in Purbo Medinipur area. He said BJP will hold public meeting at Nandigram on January 8 which will see the gathering of one lakh people and dared Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee to hold a rally as big as it.
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.