December 16, 2020 5:10:01 AM
Trinamool Congress leader Suvendu Adhikari, who resigned from the West Bengal cabinet and other posts last month, is set to join the BJP during Interior Minister Amit Shah’s visit to the state on December 19-20, according to sources BJP.
During his visit to West Bengal over the weekend, Shah is scheduled to attend rallies in at least three districts, including East Midnapore, where Adhikari’s father and two brothers represent two Lok Sabha constituencies and a meeting place. Adhikari was elected from the Nandigram constituency.
“From now on, Adhikari is expected to join the BJP at the rally (East Midnapore),” a BJP source said. However, sources also said that Adhikari returned earlier to two accession dates that he had hired to lead the party.
Sources said Adhikari plans to visit New Delhi on Thursday for talks with the BJP leadership.
On Tuesday, BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya called on Adhikari to wish him a happy birthday, fueling speculation. Adhikari’s aides said the bridges were compensated for his formal accession. Sources said he would resign as a senior member of TMC on December 17 or 18.
In a new attack on Tuesday, Adhikari continued to distance himself from the TMC leadership and said that “people who come from other states cannot be treated as foreigners”.
He referred to the “insider-outsider” debate launched by the TMC leadership to counter BJP in next year’s Assembly polls. TMC has often criticized the BJP for sending its leaders from other states to prepare for the Assembly vote.
“Our identity is first that of an Indian and then that of a Bengali,” Adhikari said. Saying that Bengal is part of India, Adhikari said that “those who come from other states cannot be treated as foreigners.”
Hitting the TMC leadership, Adhikari said: “Why should there be a party government, for the party, in Bengal? This is a democracy. We need to re-establish the rules in accordance with the Indian Constitution which states “by people, by people and by people” … I will stand by people, people and people … I will praise my position soon. The Suvendu Adhikari family is not just 5-7 people. My family is every village in Bengal … “, he said.
“There are some people who try to denigrate me by saying that I long for positions. I want to tell them that they will receive a suitable answer in the next ballot box of the assembly “, he said.
Adhikari expressed concern about his safety in the state, with senior BJP leaders meeting with Shah last month to seek increased security cover for him. Its security has been upgraded to category Z.
BJP sources acknowledged that Adhikari’s accession to the BJP would be a “big win” for the West Bengal party. “Unlike many others, Adhikari has a clean image and is considered a mass leader. His exit from the TMC government has already hit the party hard. That’s why I persuaded him to change his mind, “said a source.
Another BJP leader said Adhikari had “some doubts about joining the BJP because he feared that the Muslim support base in his area could become hostile.”
BJP sources said Adhikari could influence votes in at least 40 Assembly constituencies in six districts.
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