Suvendu Adhikari urges EC to realise Rs 5 cr from TMC for forcing by-poll in Bhabanipur
Kolkata, Sep 27:Senior West Bengal BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari Monday urged the Election Commission to realise Rs five crore from ruling Trinamool Congress for forcing additional expense from tax payers money for the by-election in Bhabanipur, which, he said, has been thrust on the electorate by forcing TMC lawmaker Sovandeb Chattopadhyay to resign to make place for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Adhikari, who was speaking at a meeting in Bhabanipur constituency in the city on the last day of campaigning, said TMC has forced an expenditure of Rs three crore from the tax payers' money for holding the by-poll which should be realised from the party and an additional Rs two crore should be paid by it as fine.
He accused the TMC supremo of "falsely" projecting herself as a "symbol of sacrifice" but he knows from his past experience as a member of that party that she is bothered only about her own interests and that of her nephew Abhishek Banerjee, who is the party general secretary.
"You (Banerjee) falsely project yourself as a symbol of sacrifice. In reality you don't think twice when making the veteran TMC leader (Chattopadhyay) resign, which nullifies the possibility of his remaining a minister in your cabinet.
"I know from experience that you (Mamata Banerjee) only think about your interest and your bhaipo (nephew Abhishek Banerjee) and have no concern about the political career of your loyalists. People of Bhabanipur will defeat you if they are allowed to vote," said Adhikari, who was her erstwhile protege and confidante and has now become a bitter enemy. He dared Banerjee to prove in public her allegations that there was discrepancy in the counting of votes in Nandigram seat where she had been defeated by Adhikari in the April-May state election.
"She is showing disrespect to the mandate of majority of voters in the seat," Adhikari, who is the leader of opposition in West Bengal assembly. Referring to BJP taking the body of the defeated saffron party candidate Dhurjoti Saha to the street near Banerjee's residence, he said it was done to communicate to her directly how its karyakartas are being killed since the declaration of the poll results on May 2.
"You (Banerjee) yourself had introduced 'Didike Bolo' (Tell didi - an outreach programme of the TMC) so that the citizens of the state can directly air their grievances to the CM on different issues. Don't you consider our state president Sukanta Majumder and our candidate Priyanka Tibrewal as citizens of your state ? Should there be different sets of rule for BJP ?" he asked.
Reacting to Adhikari's diatribe, TMC MP Sougata Roy said Chattopadhyay had himself volunteered to step down from the Bhabanipur seat saying 'electing our leader Mamata Banerjee to assembly is more important than me remaining in the House.' Chattopadhyay is slated to contest from Khardah, where by-election is due and TMC has already urged the EC to declare by-election in the sat and in three others at the earliest.
He said the comments by Adhikari were made in "bad taste and do not deserve a response." The Bhabanipur by-poll is slated to be held on September 30.
Banerjee is contesting it as she requires to win a seat in the assembly within six months of assuming office as per the provisions in the Constitution. The last date for her to do so is November 5. She is a resident of the constituency and had represented it since 2011.