On Friday, Suvendu Adhikari filed his nomination from West Bengal's Nandigram constituency ahead of the upcoming Assembly Elections. And while the politician looks to secure a second term as the Nandigram MLA, that is where the similarities end.
The BJP and the Trinamool Congress are gearing up for a high octane election battle in the Nandigram area. Once a CPI(M) bastion, the Trinamool Congress had successfully wrested control of the area over a decade ago, with Suvendu Adhikari spearheading the anti-land-acquisition movement. Now, having defected to the BJP recently, Adhikari will be taking on his former party leader.
Mamata Banerjee has already filed her nomination from Nandigram, making it clear that she will not be contesting multiple seats, and effectively challenging her former top lieutenant on his home turf. Many contend that the poll outcome will have a massive impact on their political careers.
"I hope to receive people's blessings. I'm confident people will support BJP and bring it for real development in West Bengal. There is no question of any competition. BJP won 18 Parliamentary seats in 2019 and it will form a strong govt this time with a huge margin," Adhikari told the media ahead of filing his nomination.
Visuals shared by ANI show the BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari participating in a 'havan' in Nandigram. He was also seen offering prayers at a temple in the area.
"There is a lack of employment opportunities in the State. To bring change, we need to remove this TMC. TMC has turned into a private company, where only 'Didi' and 'Bhaipo' can speak freely," he alleged on Friday.
In other related news, the injuries sustained by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee soon after filing her nomination continues to make headlines. Video footage of the incident appears to corroborate parts of her account, debunking allegations that the injuries were being faked.
Reports indicate that the Election Commission's special observer for Bengal will visit Nandigram today as officials conduct an independent probe into the incident. Both the TMC and the BJP has already approached the EC over the situation.