Mamata Banerjee leads procession in wheelchair on Nandigram Diwas
Mamata Banerjee is contesting against her protégé-turned-adversary, Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Suvendu Adhikari, at the Nandigram assembly seat.
West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee made her first public appearance in a wheelchair on Sunday afternoon to pay homage to the 14 villagers of Nandigram, who died in police firing on March 14, 2007, marking the beginning of a long agitation against the acquisition of farmland by the Left Front government.
Banerjee was the face of that agitation which played a key role in ending the Left Front’s 34-year-long rule in 2011. She observes March 14 as Nandigram Diwas every year and leads a silent procession in the heart of Kolkata.
Nandigram is once again in news as Banerjee is contesting against her protégé-turned-adversary, Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Suvendu Adhikari, at the Nandigram assembly seat in East Midnapore. Nandigram goes to the polls in the second phase of eight-phase state assembly elections on April 1.
Adhikari, who hails from East Midnapore, has claimed that it was he, who led the Nandigram agitation which continued till 2009 and witnessed many deaths.
Sending a clear message to the BJP before the procession started around 2 pm, Banerjee tweeted, “We will continue to fight boldly! I'm still in a lot of pain, but I feel the pain of my people even more. In this fight to protect our revered land, we have suffered a lot and will suffer more but we will NEVER bow down to COWARDICE!”
Banerjee was injured in Nandigram on Wednesday evening when the door of her SUV slammed against her left foot. She alleged that four or five people in the crowd that had surrounded the vehicle, deliberately pushed the door. Opposition leaders have accused Banerjee of using the incident to gain political mileage.
Sitting in a wheelchair that was pushed by her security personnel, the chief minister led the procession along a five kilometre route from Gandhi’s statue in the Maidans to Hazra Road intersection, located close to her home at Kalighat in south Kolkata. She was driven down to the Maidans in a car.