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West Bengal polls 2021: Sisir Adhikari joins BJP

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on March 21, 2021

Representative image   -  THE HINDU

Dibyendu may join the party on March 24

 

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) suffered a further blow as one more of its Lok Sabha MP, Sisir Adhikari, switched camps to join the BJP.

Sisir joined BJP in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah at a rally in Egra.

With Sisir changing camps, following his son Suvendu and Soumendu’s footsteps, it is most likely that another Adhikari family member, Dibyendu - who is also an MP of the Trinamool - will join BJP. Dibyendu may join the party on March 24, the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address a public rally in the district of Purba Midnapore.

Dibyendu has already shared dais with the Prime Minister at a Central Government program, much to the displeasure of his party.

“I was pushed into BJP by my own party. This is a fight to save my dignity, the dignity of Midnapore. My former party (Trinamool) has been abusing me and my family members,” Sisir Adhikari said after joining BJP.

“Why do you want to know about Dibyendu? I said, I have joined BJP,” Sisir said on being asked about his younger son switching camps.

Vice-like grip

The Adhikaris are known to have a vice-like grip in the two Midnapore districts. The decimation of the Left in these distircts 2009 onwards, ensured that the Adhikari-family went unchallenged.

Mamata Banerjee too did not disturb this “power balance” in the region as it was “reaping her political benefits”.

“Multiple camps existed against the Adhikaris in the Midnapore distircts, but none were given importance by the party there since it was this family that was drawing votes and controlling organisation of the party,” said a political analyst refusing anonymity.

However as distances between Suvendu and Trinamool grew, due to the rise of Abhishek Banerjee - Mamata’s nephew- in the party; this power balance looked to be on a shaky ground.

Suvendu switched camps in December, and the Trinamool Congress put its might in branding him a ‘traitor’ and criticising him publicly. Very soon, it became an ugly spat with Trinamool leaders, including Abhishek, washing dirty linen in public. The other members of the Adhikari family were dragged into it too.

The trust that the Adhikari family had with the Banerjees and Trinamool was broken as the party sidelined Sisir - the Adhikari family patriarch - from day-to-day affairs of the party in the district. “His men” were replaced inside the party too.

“Everyone there (referring to Trinamool) is threatening my family with dire consequences now. This was unacceptable to me. Why should I stay there,” Sisir added.

Shah makes a host of promises

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, yet again lambasted the Banerjees as he claimed the Chief Minister was more interested in pushing her nephew into prominence; rather than development of the state.

“This is the difference Didi. You want bhaipo as Chief Minister, we want development of thr state. In five years we promise Sonar Bangla,” he said speaking at the Egra rally.

Shah promised 33 per cent reservation of women on government jobs; cash doles to fisherman; restarting of Central Schemes like PM Kisan Samman Nidhi and Ayushman Bharat, clearing all past dues under these schemes and pay parity of government employees as per recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission.

A salary hike for teachers will also be looked into.

The BJP is expected ro release its Manifesto for the Bengal polls later in the day today.

Published on March 21, 2021

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