In a jibe at his former leader-turned-political rival Mamata Banerjee, the Leader of Opposition in West Bengal assembly, Suvendu Adhikari on Wednesday said the Trinamool Congress supremo had fled away from her home turf Bhabanipur to faraway Nandigram before the 2021 assembly poll as her party had consistently got fewer votes in the constituency in the last two Lok Sabha polls.
Mr Adhikari, who had won in Nandigram in the April-May state election, said "the unelected Chief Minister" will be defeated again before Durga Puja and the "souls" of BJP workers killed by Trinamool goons in post-poll attacks will find peace.
Ms Banerjee is contesting the September 30 bypoll in Bhabanipur to win a seat within six months and return to the Assembly by November 5 as per constitutional provisions to continue as chief minister.
"In 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Trinamool had trailed behind BJP in Bhabanipur segment of South Kolkata constituency. Sensing defeat if she contested from Bhabanipur this time too, (Ms) Banerjee fled to Nandigram with an eye on the vote bank in that seat. But the people of Nandigram gave her a befitting reply," Mr Adhikari said at a meeting in support of BJP candidate Priyanka Tibrewal in the Bhabanipur bypoll.
The Trinamool supremo had contested and won the Bhabnipur seat in 2011 and 2016.
"I can sense her ambitions will not be fulfilled and the souls of BJP workers, like Abhijit in Beleghata, who had been brutally killed by Trinamool activists on the day of counting will find peace," Mr Adhikari said.
The BJP leader referred to the death of the party's candidate from Magrahat Poschim, Dhurjoti Saha during the day and alleged that he was thrashed by Trinamool goons on the day of counting on May 2 and had remained critical since then.
Mr Adhikari, who was an important member in Mamata Banerjee cabinet for several years before switching over to BJP in December last year, said the Trinamool government has squarely failed in ensuring development in Bhabanipur. He took a dig at the waterlogging in the area in the city "after every rain".
Taking a dig at Firhad Hakim, a state minister and one of the key campaigners for Ms Banerjee, Mr Adhikari said that he is trying to bring in religious divide in the constituency for vote bank politics, while BJP stands for inclusive development of all communities living side by side and not isolate one from another.
He told reporters after the meeting that Ms Banerjee's utterances at her first campaign meeting in Bhabanipur showed her fear of defeat. "It was like a cat climbing atop a tree after being chased."
In his response, Mr Hakim told reporters that BJP leaders like Mr Adhikari and Sayantan Basu are weaving a communal narrative during their campaign which will be rejected by the people of Bhabanipur, in the same way the people of Bengal had rejected the communal campaign by the saffron camp in the assembly election.
"They are peddling hatred and the language of division among the people. This will be defeated again by the people of Bhabanipur on September 30," he added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)