Kolkata: Speculations about Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA Suvendu Adhikari’s departure from the party have been doing the rounds since the last two months, but rumours are growing stronger that he will be switching camp to BJP on December 19th in Delhi. Incidentally, it is also the day when Union Home Minister Amit Shah is expected to arrive in West Bengal to woo voters ahead of the 2021 Assembly elections.
Top TMC leadership including MPs Sougata Roy, Abhishek Banerjee and political strategist Prashant Kishor had a meeting with Adhikari earlier this month. Roy had come out and said after the meeting that the Nandigram MLA was still very much a part of TMC. However later reportedly Adhikari was unhappy at the details of talks being leaked and the TMC will no longer try to convince the rebel leader to stay back, though they are open to hearing him out.
After TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, Adhikari is the biggest mass leader the party has and his departure will mean a loss of more than 30 Assembly seats. Adhikari had stopped attending cabinet meetings, stepped down as transport minister and resigned from other posts as well after open indications of being disgruntled with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during the Nandigram diwas programme where he did not mention the party of the TMC supremo.
While the BJP had indicated keeping doors open for Adhikari, the rumours are growing louder of Adhikari formally joining the saffron party. The rebel leader has been instrumental in helping Mamata win battleground Nandigram, which was the hotbred of the land acquisition movement in 2007 apart from Singur and helped oust the 34 year old erstwhile Left government.