As Suvendu Adhikari keeps everyone guessing about his next move, the road to his return to the Trinamool Congress is nothing but shut. As TMC prepares to fight the crucial assembly elections without its promising young face, “Suvendu Adhikari for CM” slogans can be heard in Haldia, about 120 kilometers from Kolkata.
Scores of young men, wearing tshirts with his image printed on them are busy rallying in his support across the industrial town, one that Adhikari controls with an absolute iron fist.
Huge banners with captions like “Amra Dadar Anugami” (we are followers of Dada) or those describing him as “Banglar Mahaguru” have been installed across the port town. An outreach on the scale of a corporate PR campaign seem to be on display to position Adhikari as a distinctive power centre even before any formal announcement is made. “Whether he joins BJP, returns to TMC or forms is own party we are always with him,” his supporters say, in eager anticipation.
As the former Bengal minister flexes his muscle on his home turf, sources clearly indicate that Mamata’s Nandigram lieutenant has been in constant touch with the BJP leadership. Not surprising then that TMC MP Saugata Roy, who was entrusted brokering a deal by none other than Mamata Banerjee termed it a “closed chapter” on Thursday.
“My identity is, I am a son of Bengal and son of India,” Suvendu Adhikari said on Thursday, when asked to clarify his present political position. That he is attempting to craft a separate political identity is clear and explicit. Ever since the first signs of rebellion last month, when he addressed a mega gathering on November 10 Suvendu has been appearing in “apolitical” events, none of which were held with the TMC symbol.
On Thursday, Suvendu Adhikari attended two events to commemorate the birth anniversary of freedom fighter Khudiram Bose, first at Tamluk and then in Garbeta in adjoining West Midnapore district. But he was conspicuously absent at another event in Haldia organised by a former Nandigram colleague where TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh was present. “He was not an ignored or insulted member in the TMC. Apart from being a minister, he was the chairman of Haldia Development Authority and also HRBC,” Kunal Ghosh told India Today.
“BJP leaders are constantly prompting that Suvendu has been insulted and should leave TMC. It is the same party which maligned him using the Narada sting case a few years back. They are the ones who insulted him,” Kunal Ghosh added.