Mamata has forgotten role played by BJP leaders in Nandigram movement: Sovan Chatterjee

AMTALA: BJP leader Sovan Chatterjee said on Monday that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was indulging in a “dangerous game” by branding saffron camp leaders as outsiders, as it was detrimental to the interest of the nation, which is a classic example of unity in diversity.

Chatterjee, who was once a close confidante of Banerjee, claimed that the TMC supremo has forgotten the fact that Suvendu Adhikari, who recently switched over to the BJP from the ruling camp, had played a vital role in the Nandigram movement — which was also backed by saffron party leaders L K Advani and Rajnath Singh.

“You are indulging in a dangerous game by harping on the outsider issue over and over. In India, language, dialect, customs change every 50 kilometres. Our country is an example of unity in diversity,” the BJP leader said at a public meeting here in Diamond Harbour constituency.

Earlier, Chatterjee and his friend Baisakhi Banerjee led a roadshow from Dhankol More in Bishnupur to Circus ground of Amtala in South 24 Parganas district.

“The TMC boss has forgotten about the role played by L K Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Rajnath Singh in the Nandigram movement. They visited the strife-torn area in 2007 to provide support to the movement that catapulted her party to power.”

“In 1998, the TMC had entered into a seat-sharing pact with the BJP, which is now the ruling party’s main opponent for the upcoming assembly elections. You are calling the BJP a washing machine, it is the same machine you had used back then,” he said.

Banerjee had contended that the BJP runs the party like a washing machine, where corrupt leaders turn into saints the moment they join the organisation.

Chatterjee also recalled that the Adhikari family, including patriarch Sisir and sons Suvendu and Dibyendu, had fought tooth and nail against the CPI(M) during the Nandigram movement in 2007.

“Mamata Banerjee has now forgotten their contributions. People there will force her to return empty- handed after the assembly elections,” he said.

The CM, earlier the day, said that she will contest the assembly elections from Nandigram, a seat held by Suvendu Adhikari till December.

She currently represents Bhowanipore constituency in south Kolkata.

“If possible, I will contest from both Bhowanipore and Nandigram. Nandigram is my elder sister and Bhowanipore my younger sister. I will give a strong candidate from Bhowanipore, in case I don’t fight from that seat,” she said.

The BJP leader, a former minister in the Mamata Banerjee cabinet, claimed that it is the TMC supremo’s “lack of confidence” that is forcing her to fight from two constituencies.

“Actually, Mamata Banerjee is not sure where she would be getting a solid ground under her feet and where lay quicksand,” he said.

Claiming that Banerjee is no longer the same person he knew 10 years ago, Chatterjee said “she has lost her self- confidence and the decision to fight from two seats is an indication of that”.