West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee during a public meeting, in East Midnapore on Sunday. (ANI Photo)
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee during a public meeting, in East Midnapore on Sunday. (ANI Photo)

Ahead of 2nd phase polling in battleground Nandigram, Banerjee holds 'padyatra'

  • The assembly constituency of Nandigram goes to polls in the second phase of the West Bengal assembly elections on April 1. Banerjee faces Suvendu Adhikari, who left TMC and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in December last year. This is a battle of prestige for both the contestants.
By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Mallika Soni, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 29, 2021 12:37 PM IST

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee held a padyatra (footmarch) from Khudiram More to Thakur Chawk in Nandigram from where she is contesting the Assembly election. In a video shared by news agency ANI, Banerjee can be seen wheelchair-bound with her supporters as she leads the padyatra.

The Trinamool Congress party (TMC) chief was injured on March 10 following which she was admitted to a hospital in Kolkata and was discharged on March 12.

The assembly constituency of Nandigram goes to polls in the second phase of the West Bengal assembly elections on April 1. Banerjee faces Suvendu Adhikari, who left TMC and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in December last year. This is a battle of prestige for both the contestants.

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Adhikari is the sitting MLA from Nandigram, where he got 67.20 per cent votes in the 2016 assembly elections. The Adhikari family has significant clout in the east Medinipur district of which the Nandigram assembly segment is a part. While Suvendu is projecting himself as bhoomiputra (son of the soil) in the campaign, the BJP is attempting to project Banerjee as an “outsider” in the region.

Watch: Mamata holds massive rally in Nandigram ahead of second phase


On the other hand, the TMC has consistently said that the votes that Adhikari got in 2016 were because of the TMC party and Mamata Banerjee. Nandigram is also the birthplace of the land movement that propelled Banerjee to power in 2011 and thus holds enormous symbolic value for her. Banerjee launched the anti-land acquisition protest when 14 villagers were killed in a police firing.

Union home minister Amit Shah is scheduled to hold aroadshow in Nandigram on Tuesday in support of party candidate Adhikari. Assembly elections for the rest of the seven phases in West Bengal will be held from April 1 to April 29. Votes will be counted on May 2.

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