Suvendu, a mass leader with considerable clout in over three dozens of assembly constituencies, is an asset for Mamata Banerjee who can not afford to let him go as she faces the toughest battle ahead of her in 2021.
Suvendu Adhikari, the face of the Nandigram movement. (PTI)
Trinamool Congress reaches out to Suvendu Adhikari: Days after its heavyweight minister resigned from the cabinet, chief minister Mamata Banerjee dispatched top TMC leaders to pacify disgruntled Suvendu Adhikari amid buzz over his probable shift from the party to rival BJP. Among the leaders who met Suvendu were veteran party MP Saugata Roy, senior leader and MP Sudip Bandopadhyay, Abhishek Banerjee, and election strategist Prashant Kishor. After the meeting that happened in North Kolkata, Saugata Roy said that all issues with Suvendu were sorted out.
“We met Suvendu Adhikari on Tuesday. An earlier decision was reinforced that he will stay in TMC only without any question of joining BJP. Suvendu will clarify whatever he wants to via a press conference,” Roy said.
While TMC has claimed that all differences with the disgruntled leader have been sorted out, the man at the centre, Suvendu Adhikari, is yet to confirm the same. Reports suggest that various calls and messages to Suvendu seeking his version of what transpired in the meetings went unanswered, leaving room for speculation that all might not be well despite the claims made by the TMC.
Suvendu, a mass leader with considerable clout in over three dozens of assembly constituencies, is an asset for Mamata Banerjee who can not afford to let him go as she faces the toughest battle ahead of her in 2021. After Nandigram — an anti-land acquisition movement that paved the way for Mamata to become CM, Suvendu became the second most powerful person in the TMC. It was Suvendu who galvanised unprecedented support for the movement that made TMC a powerful force in Bengal.
But this power equation between him and Mamata began to change after the latter allowed her nephew Abhishek Banerjee and Prashant Kishor to have a bigger say in party matters. Gradually, Abhishek Banerjee replaced Suvendu from the number two position in TMC. Prashant Kishor carried more weight than him when it came to election matters. These developments did not go down well with Suvendu who slowly started distancing himself from the TMC. He first resigned from the post of chairman of Hooghly River Bridge Commission and then from the Cabinet.
The buzz is that he may join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), although the saffron party has maintained that Suvendu’s exit from the West Bengal government is the TMC’s internal matter.