NANDIGRAM: Coming down hard on those calling her an outsider in Nandigram, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Tuesday for them people “coming from Gujarat” are insiders.
Addressing booth-level TMC workers a day ahead of filing her nomination for the seat, Banerjee said people who had “sold their souls to outsiders from Gujarat” are insulting the Nandigram movement by playing the communal card.
Banerjee is pitted against her former confidante Suvendu Adhikari, who joined the BJP some time ago, in the high-profile seat.
Without naming Adhikari even once, Banerjee said that she had made up her mind to contest either from the Singur or Nandigram–the two cradles of anti-land acquisition movement– that catapulted her to power in 2011.
She said she decided to contest from Nandigram because of overwhelming response of the people. “I have heard some people are calling me an outsider in Nandigram. I am amazed. I was born and brought up in the neighbouring Birbhum district, and the person who is calling me an outsider was also not born here. Today I have become an outsider, and those coming from Gujarat have become insiders in Bengal,” she said.
Adhikari has often called himself “bhoomiputra” (son of the soil) while seeking to get back at the TMC supremo who has been targeting the BJP with the “party of outsiders” barb. Accusing Adhikari of trying to incite communal passions, Banerjee said,”Those who have sold their souls to the outsiders are insulting the Nandigram land acquisition movement by playing the communal card.”
“Some people are talking about 70:30 ratio (of Hindu- Muslim population). Those doing that are insulting the sacred Nandigram movement which people of both communities fought together. People of Nandigram will make BJP ‘April fool’ on April 1 when polling is held,” she asserted.