Two days after the Trinamool Congress leader and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced that she would be filing her nomination papers from Nandigram on March 11, the Bharatiya Janata Party on March 6 officially disclosed that her former minister and now a saffron party strongman, Suvendhu Adhikari, would be taking on her from that very constituency.
As reported earlier, Suvendhu was the MLA of TMC from Nandigram before he resigned from his seat and the party in November last and on December 20 joined the BJP.
Suvendhu has repeatedly been stating that he is eager to contest from this very seat and is confident of winning by 50,000 votes.
But the Central Election Committee of the BJP which met till late on March 4 night could not take the final decision on his candidature.
It is only on Saturday that the saffron party released the name of 57 candidates, which includes the name of Suvendhu.
Incidentally, the first list was announced just a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Kolkata on March 7. He will address a public rally at Brigade Parade Ground.
Earlier, when the BJP did not announce the name of Suvendhu some media reports suggested that the saffron party would now take a final decision on Suvendhu on March 9. But it deemed it fit to make the name public on the eve of PM’s trip.
On the other hand, according to media reports, a house has been identified in Nandigram where Mamata will stay during her election campaign. Fourteen years back, in 2007, she started her famous battle against the Left Front from here. Then Suvendhu was among the most trusted lieutenant. Now she is fighting another battle from this very Nandigram, this time against the saffron brigade.