Saturday, January 23, 2021

BJP ‘Captures’ Three Party Offices in Suvendu Adhikari’s Home Turf, Says TMC

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The ruling Trinamool Congress on Saturday accused the BJP of “capturing” three of its party offices in West Bengal’s Purba Medinipur district following the resignation of senior minister Suvendu Adhikari from the Mamata Banerjee cabinet. The saffron party, however, denied the allegations and claimed none of their activists were involved in such incidents.

The TMC heavyweight, who is also the MLA of neighbouring Nandigram seat, resigned from his ministerial post on Friday. He is reportedly unhappy with the party top brass over some issues. Khejuri’s TMC MLA Ranjit Mondal said the BJP cadre captured booth-level party offices of the TMC on Friday evening after Adhikari’s resignation.

“While putting up BJP flags on our offices and throwing away the TMC flags on the ground, they said that the offices belong to the saffron party. “We have no idea how the BJP can lay claim to our offices. They did not have any such office in Nandigram or Khejuri,” Mondal said.

The TMC MLA, however, asserted that the party will soon reclaim its offices. Local TMC member Sheikh Naushad claimed that the BJP activists ransacked three party offices at Kulta, Amiachak and Patna, shouting slogans that these offices now belong to them.

A district BJP leader said the saffron party activists were not involved in “capturing” TMC offices in Khejuri. “The BJP does not believe in capturing other parties’ offices. The TMC had itself captured offices of other parties in Nandigram and Khejuri in the past. Now the people have turned against the TMC and are occupying their party offices,” he said.

He said that locals in Patashpur area in the district have occupied a TMC office and converted it into a shelter for bus passengers. “We have received reports of some party offices being ransacked in Khejuri and an inquiry is underway but there has been no report of clash or injury in the incidents,” a police officer said.

Despite stepping down from his ministerial position, Adhikari has not yet quit the TMC. The TMC is working to retain him in the party, while BJP state chief Dilip Ghosh and other leaders have said that Adhikari is free to join the saffron party, where “he will be given due respect”.

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