Kolkata: It is no anti-climax. Finally, Mamata Banerjee announced on Friday, March 5, that she would formally contest from Nandigram, the epicentre of the anti-land-acquisition movement against communists and that finally ousted the 34-year rule of the Left Front government.
Announcing her candidature and names of other candidates for the crucial 294-member assembly polls, which could mark a significant impact in her own political future, Mamata said, “I always keep my words…..”.
Interestingly, in a television interview, Sisir Adhikari, still a Trinamool MP and dad of newly baptised BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari, said, “If Mamata Banerjee contest from Nandigram and Suvendu is fielded (by BJP), Parinam Bhalo hobeh na – Poll outcome would not be favourable for Mamata”.
Interestingly, CPI(M) leader Biman Bose said the Left-Congress-ISF is yet to take a final decision on a candidate for Nandigram. “This seat will now witness a heavyweight contest and we are yet to make a decision,” Bose said.
Senior Adhikari, known from his influence in Nandigram and other pockets in East Midnapore District, said he was sure the contest would be straight between Mamata and his son Suvendu.
“Both of them will contest…..,” said former Union Minister and lamented the manner Mamata’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee has personally targeted him.
Reacting to Mamata Banerjee’s announcement of contesting from Nandigram, BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya tweeted: “Mamata Banerjee, by relinquishing her traditional seat of Bhowanipore, has already conceded defeat, even before the first vote has been cast. Bring it on. Bengal is ready for a change!
“If the incumbent Chief Minister is unsure of winning her traditional seat, it is because she has sensed strong anti-incumbency on ground. This is just the beginning. Pishi will soon see Maa, Maati and Manush all slipping out of her hands. Bengal will finally see ashol poriborton,” he wrote.
While Nandigram will be a new battlefield for Didi, there is still speculation that the BJP could field onetime Mamata confidant Suvendu Adhikari against her.
Ms Mamata Banerjee said from her previous assembly segment Bhowanipore constituency, Trinamool candidate will be Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, a labour wing leader and well known Mamata loyalist.
Importantly, among celebrities, noted Kirtan (Bengali Bhajan) singer Aditi Munshi will be party nominee from Rajarhaat.
Actress June Malia will try her luck from Midnapore. Actress Sayoni Ghosh will contest from Asansol South.
“I am desperate to rush to Asansol…,” said Sayani Ghosh.
“Bangla nijer meye ke chae (Bengal wants its own daughter),” screamed June Malia and others echoing Trinamool slogan.
Other film stars in Trinamool list are – Sayantika Banerjee, Koushani Mukharjee, Sohom Chakraborty, Lovely Moitra, Kanchan Mallik and Raj Chakraborty.
Mamata has left three seats for its allies in Darjeeling district.
Pushed to the corner after desertion by ‘son of the soil’ Suvendu Adhikari, Ms Banerjee on Jan 18 had made the big announcement that she would contest the forthcoming assembly polls from Nandigram.
Fourteen people were killed in 2007 in clashes between protesters against an SEZ project in Nandigram, cleared by the erstwhile Left Front government.