The leader of Opposition in West Bengal, Suvendu Adhikari was seen with two Trinamool Congress (TMC) councillors of Suri municipality at a Kali temple in Birbhum district sparking off a lot of speculation.
Adhikari met the two councillors – Ujjwal Chatterjee, who was the former chairman of Suri municipality, and Kundan Dey, when he visited the Bamni Kali Temple at Suri before the Kali Puja celebrations on Saturday (October 22). The two councillors were already present at the temple when the senior BJP leader walked into the temple and they spoke to him.
Adhikari had inaugurated two Kali pujas besides visiting the Bamni temple. Kali Puja is being celebrated across the state on Monday. The TMC councillors, however, described the meeting as a “coincidence” and “without any political significance.”
Later, Adhikari posted a picture of the meeting on social media. The picture showed Chatterjee speaking to him. Birbhum district TMC president Anubrata Mondal is in CBI custody in connection with the cattle smuggling scam and Adhikari has repeatedly criticised Mondal.
Adhikari, the Nandigram lawmaker, is a former leader of the TMC, who had switched camp to the BJP in 2020, just before the state election. He is a strident critic of the TMC government and its supremo Mamata Banerjee.
Talking about the meeting, Chatterjee told the media that he visits the Bamni Kali temple every year before Kali Puja. “On Saturday, I suddenly met Suvendu Adhikari in the temple and spoke to him out of courtesy. As he was in our party (TMC) earlier, we know each other,” added Chatterjee.
While Dey said, “We don’t take politics to the temple. TMC has always been courteous to Opposition leaders.” The district TMC leadership did not comment on the meeting.
The BJP, however, did not let this opportunity slide. On Sunday, the BJP district president Dhruba Saha said, “Many TMC leaders are trying to join the BJP but we are in no hurry. We have not forgotten what they did to our workers after the declaration of the state assembly election result last year.” BJP has claimed that a number of its workers were killed by TMC in post-poll violence in 2021.
TMC has denied the charge calling it baseless.