Former MLA from Nandigram and the BJP’s contender against West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Suvendu Adhikari on Saturday alleged that only those who celebrate Pakistan cricket team's victory supported the Trinamool Congress in Nandigram.
Nandigram, site of an anti-displacement movement during 2007-08, had turned into the state's most high-profile Assembly constituency after Mamata Banerjee announced in January that she would contest from Nandigram this time. The constituency had played an instrumental role behind her ascent to power in 2011.
"Those who celebrate Pakistan's victory with crackers are creating trouble in Nandigram. Only they are with the TMC here. None else here is with the TMC," Adhikari said on Friday.
Since then, Adhikari has repeatedly cited Nandigram's demography to explain Mamata Banerjee's choice of seat. "She is coming (to contest from) here depending on 62,000 votes," Adhikari said in an obvious reference to the area's Muslim population.
The BJP's state unit president Dilip Ghosh had alleged that she chose Nandigram over her traditional seat of Bhawanipur in Kolkata because Nandigram had 34% Muslim population whereas there’s an overwhelming Hindu dominance in Bhawanipur’s demography.
Ghosh's figures were a little exaggerated though. The Nandigram Assembly constituency is made of Nandigram 1 and Nandigram 2 community development blocks and Muslims make 25.86% of the total population.
Adhikari had since 2007 been Mamata Banerjee's pointsman for Nandigram, until he quit the party last year.
Mamata Banerjee has already warned people of Nandigram against falling into the BJP's trap of creating divide on communal lines.