West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and poll strategist Prashant Kishor are pulling out all stops to control rebel party heavyweight and transport minister Suvendu Adhikari in the districts of the state.(PTI PHOTO.)
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and poll strategist Prashant Kishor are pulling out all stops to control rebel party heavyweight and transport minister Suvendu Adhikari in the districts of the state.(PTI PHOTO.)

Bengal CM Mamata, Prashant Kishor strategise to control rebel TMC minister

Their efforts showed some apparent signs of success on Friday evening when the minister did not make controversial statements at the public programmes he attended.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Kolkata
UPDATED ON NOV 14, 2020 10:57 AM IST

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and her election strategist Prashant Kishor are trying to control rebel party heavyweight and transport minister Suvendu Adhikari and his aides in the districts through talks and pressure tactics.

Their efforts showed some apparent signs of success on Friday evening when the minister did not make controversial statements at the public programmes he attended.

Earlier this week, senior Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders told HT on condition of anonymity that Adhikari is unhappy with Banerjee’s nephew and Lok Sabha member Abhishek Banerjee and Kishor for making recent organizational changes and wants the party to field candidates of his choice at 65 assembly seats spread across several districts. This is unacceptable to the leadership.

Assembly polls in Bengal are due in about six months. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which won 18 of the state’s 42 Lok Sabha seats in 2019, has said that its doors are open for Adhikari if he is serious about switching sides. Many TMC leaders joined the BJP before and after the polls. Like some of them, the transport minister is also named in the CBI’s FIR in the Narada sting operation case.

Kishor, who was roped in by Banerjee after the Lok Sabha poll debacle, drove down from Kolkata to Adhikari’s home at Kanthi in East Midnapore district on Thursday evening. The minister, who threw a veiled challenge at the TMC from a huge rally on Tuesday, was not present at home. Kishor talked for more than two hours with his father Sisir Adhikari, the TMC’s most senior Lok Sabha member who represents the Kanthi constituency.

TMC leaders aware of the development said Kishor conveyed to Adhikari that the leadership might consider discussing the minister’s demand for assembly poll tickets for some of his followers if he stops acting against the party. In a parallel move, the chief minister called up district leaders and said nobody should make any statement against Adhikari or his family. Suvendu Adhikari’s brother Dibyendu is the Lok Sabha member from Tamluk while Soumendu, the youngest of the three siblings, is chairman of the Kanthi municipality.

The strategy apparently paid off within 24 hours. Adhikari did not say a word against the TMC while addressing people at the inauguration of some community Kali Pujas in Bankura district on Friday evening. The minister’s followers, however, had put up posters in his support in Bankura town. Similar posters, displaying Adhikari’s image sans any mention of the TMC, have appeared in several districts of south and north Bengal since last month.

“Kishor had a talk with Suvendu’s father. The differences, if any, will be sorted out,” said TMC Lok Sabha member and party spokesperson Saugata Roy. Suvendu Adhikari avoided the media.

The rift in the TMC came out in the open on Tuesday when the transport minister addressed a rally held by his supporters at Nandigram in East Midnapore in memory of party workers killed 13 years ago in a violent land agitation that helped Banerjee oust the Left Front government. There was not a single TMC flag or photograph of Banerjee at the venue. This made the leadership angry and urban development minister Firhad Hakim rushed to Nandigram the same day to address a counter rally. He referred to Adhikari as a traitor without taking his name.

“Journalists and political observers are waiting for me to announce my political programme. They want to hear me talk about the roadblocks I am facing and the path I am going to take. I will not announce my political programme from this sacred platform. I will speak from a political platform. I am not afraid of anyone. We will meet on the battlefield,” Adhikari said at Tuesday’s rally.

Leaving food for thought, he ended his short speech with the slogan “Bharat Mata Zindabad,” (long live motherland) which appeared to be an improvisation of the Hindi slogan BJP leaders raise. TMC leaders, including Banerjee, end their speech by saying “Jai Bangla” (victory for Bengal). Interestingly, Adhikari said this as well.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari gestures during a roadshow from Tollygunge to Rashbehari in Kolkata, West Bengal( Samir Jana / Hindustan Times)
BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari gestures during a roadshow from Tollygunge to Rashbehari in Kolkata, West Bengal( Samir Jana / Hindustan Times)

News updates from HT: Suvendu Adhikari's new challenge ahead of Bengal elections

By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 04:56 PM IST
Here are today’s top news, analysis and opinion. Know all about the latest news and other news updates from Hindustan Times.
Close
Partho Dasgupta (centre), the former chief executive officer of BARC India and key accused in the Television Rating Points (TRP) manipulation scam. (HT Photo)
Partho Dasgupta (centre), the former chief executive officer of BARC India and key accused in the Television Rating Points (TRP) manipulation scam. (HT Photo)

TRP scam: Mumbai court rejects bail plea of ex-BARC CEO

PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 04:38 PM IST
The crime branch alleged that Partho Dasgupta had misused his official position and manipulated TRPs of certain news channels to benefit Republic TV and R Bharat channels
Close
Representational Image. (HT file)
Representational Image. (HT file)

Vaccine Maitri: India dispatches Covishield to Bhutan, Maldives

By Shalaka Shinde
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 03:49 PM IST
Further shipments by India will be made for Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles, according to a statement by MEA
Close
Kamala Harris particularly struck a chord with Tamil people and her heritage when she called out to her ‘chithis’ (referring to a parent’s younger sister in Tamil) during her speech in August at the Democratic National Convention.(M Roopesh/HT Photo )
Kamala Harris particularly struck a chord with Tamil people and her heritage when she called out to her ‘chithis’ (referring to a parent’s younger sister in Tamil) during her speech in August at the Democratic National Convention.(M Roopesh/HT Photo )

‘Like winning Olympic gold’: Kamala Harris' village gears up for her oath taking

By Divya Chandrababu
UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 03:59 PM IST
Joe Biden will take oath as the 46th President of the United State on January 20 and Harris will be vice-president.
Close
Farmers have rejected the committee formed by SC on the grounds that it is pro-government. (REUTERS)
Farmers have rejected the committee formed by SC on the grounds that it is pro-government. (REUTERS)

Farm laws: SC irked over criticism of court-appointed committee members

UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 04:20 PM IST
The Supreme Court on Wednesday said there was no question of bias as the committee has not been given any adjudicatory powers
Close
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File photo)

TMC MP asks PM Modi to publish controversial book on Netaji, IMA

By HT Correspondent | Edited by Sameer
UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 03:26 PM IST
Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said that as per an official note exchanged between the MoD and the ministry of external affairs, pages 186 -191 of the unpublished book could add to the view that Netaji may not have died but survived the plane crash in August 1945
Close
BMC workers sanitise the area in front of bird enclosure at Lokmanya Tilak BMC Market , in Mumbai on January 14. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT file)
BMC workers sanitise the area in front of bird enclosure at Lokmanya Tilak BMC Market , in Mumbai on January 14. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT file)

Avian flu: 1,795 complaints of bird deaths in Mumbai, says BMC

By Mehul R Thakkar
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 02:51 PM IST
Complaints include deaths of crows, pigeons and other birds, but not chicken, said BMC, even as it added that in many cases, there are multiple calls for a single death, raising the number of complaints higher than that of actual deaths
Close
An encounter is underway in Jammu and Kashmir’s Jammu district.(Reuters File Photo)
An encounter is underway in Jammu and Kashmir’s Jammu district.(Reuters File Photo)

4 soldiers injured in Pakistani firing along LoC in J-K's Akhnoor sector

Written by Prashasti Singh, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 03:53 PM IST
The ceasefire violation from across the LoC took place in Jammu and Kashmir's Akhnoor sector.
Close
The victims—all residents of Chainpura village—were travelling in the ambulance that was on its way to Patna from Nalanda, police said.(HT Photo)
The victims—all residents of Chainpura village—were travelling in the ambulance that was on its way to Patna from Nalanda, police said.(HT Photo)

Speeding BMW kills 2 cops in Chennai, driver held

By Divya Chandrababu | Edited by Abhinav Sahay, Chennai
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 02:22 PM IST
  • Raveendran, who was riding the bike, died on the spot while Karthik, the pillion rider, succumbed to his injuries at a government hospital around 11am, police said.
Close
Representational Image. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Representational Image. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

India Innovation Index ranking out, Karnataka retains top spot

By HT Correspondent | Edited by Smriti Sinha
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 02:22 PM IST
This is the second edition of the metric for assessing the innovation capabilities of Indian states and Union Territories
Close
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan (R) greets Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Rawalpindi, Pakistan in 2019. (REUTERS)
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan (R) greets Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Rawalpindi, Pakistan in 2019. (REUTERS)

Pakistan names general envoy to Saudi Arabia as military seeks control of ties

PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 02:15 PM IST
The Pakistani ambassador’s position in Riyadh has often been held by retired military officers, reflecting the fact that defence ties form the bedrock of bilateral ties, Dawn reported
Close
With a ballerina’s poise and grace, the deformed myna braves life’s challenges. PHOTO: AMI PRABAL
With a ballerina’s poise and grace, the deformed myna braves life’s challenges. PHOTO: AMI PRABAL

Bird flu in Chhattisgarh: 45 wild mynas die in Bijapur, samples to be tested

By Ritesh Mishra | Edited by Abhinav Sahay, Raipur
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 01:57 PM IST
  • The carcasses of the birds were found on Monday and Tuesday near a CRPF camp in Naimad area in the Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh.
Close
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut. (File photo)
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut. (File photo)

Sena questions Centre over reports of China building village in Arunachal

PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 01:37 PM IST
n an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana, the Sena said that the country awaits a similar cross-border action against China as was ordered after Uri and Pulwama attacks originated from the Pakistani soil
Close
People even offered prayers at the village temple for Kamala Harris. In picture - A shop in the village hanging a calendar with the image of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.(Reuters)
People even offered prayers at the village temple for Kamala Harris. In picture - A shop in the village hanging a calendar with the image of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.(Reuters)

Thulasenthirapuram, Kamala Harris native village in TN, prepares for celebration

ANI, Nagapattinam
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 01:35 PM IST
Some people of the village were seen making a traditional recipe 'murukku' to celebrate the occasion. Many were seen cleaning the road and flowering the corners of the roads to mark the victory of Kamala Harris.
Close
Police personnel walk past a bus with farmer leaders before it leaves for Vigyan Bhawan to attend a meeting with the central government over the new farm laws, at Singhu border near Delhi on Wednesday.(PTI Photo)
Police personnel walk past a bus with farmer leaders before it leaves for Vigyan Bhawan to attend a meeting with the central government over the new farm laws, at Singhu border near Delhi on Wednesday.(PTI Photo)

‘What interest do we have’: Supreme Court's clear warning on farm laws panel

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi
UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 02:02 PM IST
The court also issued a notice to the Centre on an application by Bhartiya Kisan Party for filling up vacancy in the four-member committee created by resignation of Bhupinder Singh Mann.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP