West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday started her campaign in Nandigram with a promise of making “model Nandigram”.
Raising the slogan “Bhulte paari nijer naam, Bhulbo na Nandigram [Can forget my name but won’t forget Nandigram]”, she said she chose to contest from Nandigram because the constituency is symbol of struggle.
“Tomorrow I will file nomination from Haldia… if you don’t want me contest then I will leave,” she said adding that she will file her nomination tomorrow (Wednesday).
At the workers’ convention, Ms. Banerjee said she has decided to contest from Nandigram when the sitting MLAs had resigned. “I could have easily contested from Bhawanipore which is my home but I chose Nandigram which is a symbol of protest,” she said.
The Chief Minister said the voting in Nandigram is on April 1 and they should make “April fool” of those offering money. “Take money from them but do not vote for them,” she said referring to her political opponents.
She also said she will build a home in Nandigram. “I have rented a two-room house in Nandigram and will come to live here every two months.”
Senior Trinamool Congress leaders have started scouting for a house for Ms. Banerjee. The Chief Minister is likely to spend a few days in Nandigram before the constituency goes to the polls.
While Ms. Banerjee refrained from any mention of her opponent Suvendu Adhikari, she accused him of creating “communal divide”. “Those creating the 70% and 30% divide should keep in mind that we are 100% together. In Nandigram when the violence has erupted some people had given call of Azan and some had blown conch shells,” she said.
She referred to the recent remarks of Mr. Adhikari calling her “outsider” (bahiragata) and said those accusing her is a resident of Medinipur while she hails from Birbhum.
Mr. Adhikari had said the Chief Minister was an ‘outsider’ in Nandigram and has not ever visited the constituency in the past five years.