An audio clip where a female voice resembling that of chief minister Mamata Banerjee's has gone viral on Saturday, the day of the first phase polling in the state. In the audio clip, the female voice was heard requesting a BJP leader from Nandigram area to work for the TMC in the Assembly elections.
Mamata Banerjee is contesting from Nandigram in a high-profile battle against Suvendu Adhikary, her one-time pointsman for the area who joined the BJP in December 2020.
The audio clip was aired on a few TV channels, following which the BJP leader also addressed the media, reaffirming the claims that it was, indeed, Mamata Banerjee who called him.
Trinamool Congress spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said, "It is not possible for me at this moment to verify the voice but even if she had indeed made this call, I can't see what's wrong in ringing up a former worker of the party. She has been publicly urging disgruntled leaders to return to the party's fold. In this case, she made the call personally."
The BJP leader, Pralay Pal, hails from Nandigram and is a vice-president of the BJP's Tamluk district unit. He joined the BJP well ahead of Adhikary.
The BJP's IT cell's national head and Bengal co-mender Amit Malviya wrote on Twitter, "Massive! Mamata Banerjee calls Proloy Pal, BJP’s district Vice President in Nandigram and pleads for help! Proloy tells her that he was humiliated in TMC and he along with this family cannot betray the BJP. Pishi is definitely losing Nandigram and TMC Bengal."
Massive! Mamata Banerjee calls Proloy Pal, BJP’s district Vice President in Nandigram and pleads for help!
Proloy tells her that he was humiliated in TMC and he along with this family cannot betray the BJP.March 27, 2021
In the audio clip, the female voice resembling Mamata Banerjee requested Pal to work for the TMC. When Pal said he left the TMC because of the injustices he suffered, the female voice said that those who were in charge of the party locally (meaning the family of Suvendu Adhikary, including his father Sisir) were responsible for those misdeeds. She will take care of all his issues, the female voice said.
However, Pal appeared to be standing committed not only by the BJP but also by the Adhikary family. "I have always got them by my side," he was heard saying.
Later, issuing a statement, Pal said that the chief minister had indeed called him but he had turned down her proposal.
Such allegations less than a week before the elections are likely to leave impact on the voters of Nandigram, political observers felt.
Nandigram will go to the polls in April 1. The chief minister is scheduled to reach Nandigram on March 28 and stay there till the polling day.
No response from the TMC was available till filing of this report on Saturday afternoon.
Citing this audio clip, BJP leaders argued that Mamata Banerjee's "desperation" portrayed how her defeat in Nandigram was inevitable.