Bengal polls: It's official! BJP's Suvendu to take on Mamata in Nandigram

KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will file her nomination papers from the Nandigram seat on March 10, while her rival and BJP candidate Suvendu Adhikari will do the same two days later, as the stage is set for the Battle Royale in the constituency.

After the release of the party manifesto on Tuesday, the Trinamool Congress supremo would leave for Nandigram in the evening and file her nomination papers the next day, party sources said.

She would then attend a workers’ meet and return to Kolkata on March 11.

Adhikari, whose name was announced as the BJP candidate from the seat on Saturday, will file the nomination on March 12.

“After filing nomination papers, he will address a rally there,” BJP leader Kanishka Panda said.

Nandigram, the cradle of the anti-land acquisition movement that catapulted Banerjee to power in 2011, will witness her once protege Suvendu Adhikari taking on her on April 1, in the second of the eight phases of polling.

For 50-year-old Adhikari, the contest in Nandigram will be a fight for his political survival as he had vowed to defeat Banerjee by over 50,000 votes in the seat or quit politics.

Adhikari won the Nandigram seat in the 2016 assembly election, while another TMC candidate emerged victorious from the constituency in 2011.

The former minister had quit the TMC and resigned from the assembly last year to join the BJP after having differences with the state’s ruling party. On the other hand, Banerjee will contest the Nandigram seat for the first time after relinquishing the Bhowanipore constituency in Kolkata, from where she had won twice.

The TMC supremo has rented a house in Nandigram and will campaign from there.

Elections in Bengal, poised to be a stiff contest between the TMC and the BJP, will be held in eight phases between March 27 and April 29.

Votes will be counted on May 2.