“I’m an Indian first, then a Bengali”: Suvendu slams TMC’s “insider-outsider” debate

From: PTI | Haldia |

Updated: December 15, 2020, 8:21:49 PM

Suvendu Adhikari. (File)

Amid speculation about his next political move, angry Trinamool Congress chairman Suvendu Adhikari Tuesday appeared to be getting closer to the BJP when he beat the TMC over the insider-outsider debate, saying those from other states could not be outsiders to be branded.

Adhikari, who had resigned from the state cabinet and distanced himself from the party in recent months, said he was first an Indian and then a Bengali.

He also criticized the TMC leadership, saying they give the party more importance than the people.

Adhikari spoke at the celebrations for the birthday of freedom fighter Satish Chandra Samanta in Haldia, Purba Medinipur district.

Regarding the insider-outsider debate sparked by the TMC leadership to counter the BJP in the next Congregation polls, Adhikari said Bengal is an integral part of India and “people from other states cannot be treated as outsiders” . The ruling party in West Bengal has often criticized the BJP for sending its leaders from other states to prepare for the assembly elections.

“For us we are first Indians and then Bengal. Satish Chandra Samanta was a strong MP from Medinipur. Even the country’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, respected him very much. Satish Chandra Samanta never branded Nehru an outsider, nor did Nehru ever brand him a non-Hindi-speaking MP. There was mutual respect, ”he said, reiterating the Saffron Party’s views on the insider-outsider debate.

Samanta had left Bengal Engineering College as a student to take part in the struggle for freedom. His leadership skills came to the fore in the formation of a parallel government called Tamralipta Jatiya Sarkar (Tamrlipta National Government) in Tamluk during the Quit India movement. After independence, Samanta was a member of parliament for over three decades. Adhikari met at the TMC leadership and said: “Why should there be a Party rule for the Party of the Party in Bengal? That’s democracy. We must restore the rules according to the Indian Constitution, which says, “By the people, by the people and by the people”. I am not greedy for posts. I’ve worked for the masses all my life. “

Adhikari, an influential leader with a mass base, said those who try to slander him will receive an appropriate response in the 2021 congregation polls.

“There are few people who try to slander me by saying that I have wanted a job. I want to tell them that the next congregation polls will give them an appropriate response, ”he said, without naming anyone.

One of the prominent faces of the excitement, Adhikari, said of the anti-farmland acquisition movement in Nandigram in 2007 that it was a popular movement and “neither a political party nor an individual should try to take advantage of it”.

The Nandigram movement had increased Mamata Banerjee’s political weight and helped her party wrest power from the left front. The Nandigram MLA, which has distanced itself from the party in recent months, is organizing programs without the TMC banner. For the past two months, banners reading “Dadar Anugami” (followers of Dada) have been seen in various parts of Purba Medinipur district.

Reconciliation efforts by veteran TMC leaders like Saugata Roy and Sudip Bandopadhyay have not appeased Adhikari, who has not yet revealed his future political direction, amid speculation about his entry into the BJP.

Adhikari, an influential, mass-based leader who resigned from Mamata Banerjee’s cabinet and other positions he held a few days ago, has claimed it is “difficult for him to work with the party”.

Adhikari’s father, Sisir Adhikari and his brother Dibyendu, himself a two-year-old former MP, are TMC MPs from the Tamluk and Kanthi Lok Sabha constituencies.

The influential political family missed Prime Minister Mamata Banerjee’s rally in their stronghold of West Medinipur last week and led them to accuse the BJP of attempting to break their party with “moneybags”.

The Adhikari family exerts significant influence in at least 40-45 congregation segments in West Medinipur, Bankura, Purulia, Jhargram, parts of Birbhum – mainly in the Junglemahal region and in areas in the minority-dominated Murshidabad District.

His desertion could adversely affect the TMC’s prospects in these areas in the next Congregation polls.

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