Mamata Banerjee vs Suvendu Adhikari: Former allies exchange barbs ahead of Bengal poll showdown
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With mere days left before the multi-phased West Bengal Assembly elections kick off, political parties have intensified their efforts to woo voters. A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hit out at the other's party during rallies, others have now joined the fray.

Of these Suvendu Adhikari stands out for his prior links to the TMC and for the fact that he will be facing off against the TMC supremo in Nandigram. Once a top lieutenant in Banerjee's camp, the politician had defected to the BJP a few months earlier.

"What happened to the United Front she (Mamata Banerjee) spoke about in 2019? Earlier too, she had claimed she would remove BJP from the Centre," the newly inducted BJP leader said in Nandigram today.

He was responding to remarks made by the CM implying that she wished to proceed towards Delhi. "Poribortan (change) is Mamata Banerjee's slogan. After winning Bengal, we will jump to Delhi and shake the BJP government at the Centre," she had said.

"Mamata Banerjee isn't liking that elections in West Bengal are being held in a democratic way. Using some 'ghuspatis' and Pakistanis', the candidates are being stopped, but police are taking no action," Adhikari added.

Meanwhile, Adhikari's brother Dibyendu who is a TMC MP from Tamluk constituency is also mulling a switch. Responding to reports that he had joined the BJP, the lawmaker said that he had received the invitation from BJP high command but was yet to make a decision.

In other news, a TMC parliamentary delegation is scheduled to meet the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Friday in Delhi at 12 noon. The meeting will see discussions on important issues related to free and fair conduct of the upcoming West Bengal Assembly polls.

Elections to the 294-member state Assembly will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 with the final round of voting taking place on April 29. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.

(With inputs from agencies)

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