As apprehended, former transport minister Suvendu Adhikari's dis-association with the TMC has pressed the panic button in the ruling Trinamool Congress party. Even Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee in a public rally in Cooch behar on Wednesday had alleged that BJP central leaders are in constant touch with several stalwarts in her camp, namely Subrata Buxi and Anubrata Mandal, the strongman of Birbhum.
"Imagine the audacity of the BJP leaders, they are calling up the state president of TMC and asking him to join the saffron camp. The BJP doesn't have any ideology or political courtesy. They are using money bags, and some opportunists who only work for their own benefit are joining them. We will not let them win," Banerjee was heard saying.
According to BJP insiders, Adhikari is in talks with several disgruntled leaders of the TMC and would take them along in the saffron fold.
Notably, Adhikari was instrumental in turning the tide in favour of the TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee in Midnapore which was once considered a Left citadel. Adhikari is said to be the 'face' of the Singur and Nandigram movement that had turned the apple cart of the Left Front government. Even the then Maoist leader Kishanji of Jungle Mahal claimed before the media that he had lent support to the TMC to weed out the Left Front from Jungle Mahal, especially Midnapore.
Suvendu's father Sisir Adhikari, the two-time MP of the TMC, had fought alone in the 80's during the Left Front regime and had clinched his entry in the Assembly poll from the undivided Midnapore as a Congress candidate.
Since then Sisir had gradually increased his influence and had joined the TMC during the Singur and the Nandigram movements. This made it easier for Suvendu to put a mark in the politics of Midnapore.
Even after the division of the district's as East and West Midnapore, Suvendu's influence grew in both parts, especially in West Midnapore from where one of his brothers are sitting MLA and MP of the TMC. The house of Adhikaris had a strong hold and command over the electorate in the district.
Political analyst Biswanath Chakraborty called it "watershed moment in Bengal politics". "Suvendu is the only one in recent times who left all his positions before leaving the party. Along with political ethics he had also proven that he can mobilise people without staying in any position. He is a great organiser too. If a politically influenced person like him leaves, it is a genuine loss for both Mamata Banerjee and the TMC," said Chakraborty.