West Bengal Chief Minister will contest the upcoming polls from Nandigram. (PTI)
West Bengal Chief Minister will contest the upcoming polls from Nandigram. (PTI)

‘It's a special place for me’: Mamata to contest elections from Nandigram

  • Mamata Banerjee’s decision to contest the elections from Nandigram can also be seen as a counter to TMC rebel Suvendu Adhikari who joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in December last year.
By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Shankhyaneel Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2021 03:23 PM IST

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday announced she will be contesting the upcoming assembly elections from the Nandigram constituency and that she would possibly fight from the Bhawanipur seat as well. “I will contest from Nandigram assembly seat. If possible I will contest from both Bhawanipur and Nandigram,” Banerjee said while addressing a public rally at Nandigram, according to news agency ANI.

The Nandigram violence is considered to be a pivotal moment for the Trinamool Congress (TMC) as it led to the fall of the Left Front rule after more than three decades in West Bengal. In 2007, several incidents of violence were reported from Nandigram but on March 27, the killing of 14 unarmed villagers in police firing led to widespread criticism of the Left Front government in the state. Following the Nandigram violence, the TMC won the panchayat elections in 2008, Lok Sabha polls in 2009, municipal polls in 2010 and amassed a massive victory ousting the Left Front government from power in 2011.

Mamata Banerjee’s decision to contest the elections from Nandigram can also be seen as a counter to TMC rebel Suvendu Adhikari who joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in December last year. Adhikari played an important role in the movement back in 2017 and was instrumental in building the electoral base of Trinamool Congress in that region.

“I have always started my campaign for the assembly polls from Nandigram. It is a lucky place for me. So this time, I feel that I should contest the assembly polls from here. I would request our state party president Subrata Bakshi to approve my name from this seat,” Banerjee was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

West Bengal assembly elections are due this year but political violence between BJP's workers and Trinamool Congress supporters have cast a shadow over the polls. The Trinamool Congress, which suffered several defections over the past few months, is aiming to stop the BJP from gaining ground in Bengal. The BJP, which won 18 seats in 2019 Lok Sabha elections, remains confident that it will oust the TMC government from power in the upcoming elections.

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**EDS: IMAGE MADE AVAILABLE FROM CM OFFICE** Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee addresses a press conference at Kalighat, in Kolkata, Friday, Feb 26, 2021. (PTI Photo) (PTI02_26_2021_000202A)(PTI)
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