On a day 80-year-old Sisir Adhikari, father of former Trinamool minister Suvendu Adhikari joined the BJP, West Bengal Chief Minister dubbed them both "traitors" and "thiefs" who are now claiming credit for the work her government had done. Speaking at a rally in East Medinipur's Kanthi town, the Adhikaris' political bastion, she accused them of siphoning money meant for teachers and conspiring against her government since 2014. Later, she even called herself "an ass" for not recognising people who would eventually cheat her.
"At one point, I had great respect for them. I used to love them. I have painted a picture of a goddess in their house. Now they are gaddars, 'Mir Jafars'," she said, her leg still in cast. Mir Zafar was a close aide and commander of Bengal's last independent nawab. He betrayed the nawab, Siraj-ud Daula, to the British, an act that turned his name into a quasi-synonym for traitor in the region.
"They have invited the BJP here and they are saying they were in touch with the BJP since 2014. Which means they sabotaged us," she said, evoking thunderous applause from the audience.
A Congressman-turned-Trinamool leader, Sisir Adhikari today ended months of speculation, joining the BJP in Union Minister Amit Shah's presence at Egra in East Medinipur. His son Suvendu Adhikari had preceded him by a few months and is by now the BJP's chief Mamata baiter, even contesting the Nandigram constituency against her in the upcoming state polls.
"Ask the gaddars how much money they have taken. You say Trinamool is a thief, Narendra Modi? Your gaddar is the father of thieves, the captain of thieves, the chief of dacoits...the gaddar's father is a thief, too," Ms Banerjee said, apparently referring to the Adhikaris.
"Those who talk to the BJP at night, those who kiss the BJP in the day…we don't keep contact with them," she said.
She listed out a bunch of projects and schemes - hospitals, roads, student credit, money-for-smartphone - and promised there was more to come. "I have done a lot of work here. But the gaddars claim they have done it," she said.
Despite being wheelchair-bound, she showed no signs of being boxed. "You have now injured by leg, but if I kick a ball with one leg, it will go out of the field," she said.
Speaking in Nandakumar area of the same district, later, she kept up the attack on the Adhikaris. She took the blame on herself for not recognising the party's alleged traitors. She found another tag, "Bibhishon", for those who quit her party to join the BJP, likening them to Ravana's younger brother who sided with Lord Rama.
"You can say it was my fault. Forgive me. I'm an ass. I can't make out who is good or bad. I didn't realise they would eat off the TMC and then go to the BJP. How was I to know they are Bibhishon?" she said.