TMC rebel Suvendu may join BJP during Amit Shah’s Bengal visit on Dec 19

‘There are few people who are trying to malign me by saying I had yearned for posts. I want to tell them that they will get a befitting reply in the next Assembly polls,’ Adhikari said

Suvendu Adhikari quit the TMC and joined the BJP in December 2020 ahead of the assembly election | File Photo

Trinamool Congress (TMC) heavyweight and former West Bengal minister Suvendu Adhikari is set to join the BJP this weekend when Union Home Minister Amit Shah visits the state, according to a report.

Hindustan Times reported on Tuesday (December 15) quoting Adhikari’s aides and BJP leaders that decks were being cleared for him to formally join the saffron party. Shah will arrive in Bengal on Saturday (December 19) for a two-day visit.

“It has been decided so far that neither Shah nor party president JP Nadda will hand over the party flag to Adhikari in public to induct him into the BJP. This formality will be done by either Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh or some senior national leader,” a senior state BJP leader told HT on Tuesday.

Also read: Suvendu could be BJP’s candidate face in Bengal


Speaking at a rally in Midnapore, Adhikari said he was attacked 11 times recently and they can’t deter him.

“I have been attacked 11 times recently. I want to tell my critics that I have people with me and these people have come for the connection I have with them…I want to tell them that I will stand by people for the people and with the people. Let me tell you, I will clear my stand soon…The Suvendu family is not of just 5-7 people. My family is every village of Bengal who eat plain fermented rice (panta bhaat). I want to reiterate that all these attacks cannot deter me,” he said, according to India Today.

‘We are first Indians, then Bengalis’

In Haldia, he also slammed the TMC over the insider-outsider debate and said those coming from other states can’t be branded as outsiders.

“For us, we are first Indians and then Bengalis. Satish Chandra Samanta was a stalwart parliamentarian from Medinipur. Even the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru used to respect him a lot. Neither Satish Chandra Samanta ever called Nehru an outsider nor did Nehru ever brand him as a non-Hindi speaking MP. There was mutual respect,” he said, echoing the views of the saffron party on the insider- outsider debate.

Also read: TMC expels Suvendu loyalist

He also criticised the TMC leadership, saying it is giving more importance to the party than people.

“There are few people who are trying to malign me by saying I had yearned for posts. I want to tell them that they will get a befitting reply in the next Assembly polls,” he stated without naming anyone.

Adhikari wields great influence in East Midnapore, West Midnapore, Bankura, Purulia, Jhargram and parts of Birbhum district. His father Sisir Adhikari and brother Dibyendu are both MPs. Suvendu himself is a two-time former Lok Sabha member.

Adhikari, political analysts say, can influence the election outcome in as many as 35-40 seats in these districts, and damage Mamata Banerjee’s prospects, as she seeks a third straight term in office. He has maintained that it is “difficult for him to work with the party”.

‘Product of mass movement’

Last month, the BJP had said it would be “beneficial” to the party if Adhikari joined them.

“As far as I have seen in (Bengal) politics, Suvendu is one of the finest mass leaders of contemporary times. I have known him for a long time. He is a product of mass movement. If he decides to join the BJP, it will be beneficial for both him and the party,” BJP national Vice President Mukul Roy said.

West Bengal BJP chief and Lok Sabha MP Dilip Ghosh had said Adhikari’s resignation from Cabinet heralded the “end of Trinamool Congress” and claimed that the party would “cease to exist”.

“The exit of Suvendu Adhikari from TMC is only a matter of time. There are several leaders of the ruling party who are disgruntled with its way of functioning. We have kept our doors open … All leaders with self respect will leave TMC,” Ghosh said.

Drawing analogy from the game of cricket, he said, “A big wicket fell today”.

(With inputs from PTI)