Sun, 07 Mar 2021 11:49 AM IST
Kolkata | Jagran Politics Desk: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday released its first list of candidates for the West Bengal polls and announced that Suvendu Adhikari, a former Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader, will fight against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the Nandigram seat.
Following the announcement, Adhikari took a jibe at Banerjee and said that "West Bengal will become Kashmir" if the TMC returns to power. He, however, asserted that he will defeat Banerjee in Nandigram by over 50,000 votes.
"Nandigram is not a challenge for me. I am going to Nandigram to defeat her (Mamata Banerjee) and send her back to Kolkata. I thank the national party leadership for the responsibility given to me. I will work to make lotus bloom in Nandigram and across West Bengal," he was quoted by news agency ANI as saying.
However, little did Adhikari knew that his 'Kashmir remark' will spark a political slugfest in West Bengal as opposition leaders questioned the BJP leader. Leading the charge was former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah who called Adhikari's statement "stupid and tasteless".
"But according to you BJP wallas Kashmir has become paradise after August 2019 so what’s wrong with West Bengal becoming Kashmir? Anyway, Bengalis love Kashmir and visit us in large numbers so we forgive you your stupid, tasteless comment," he tweeted.
But according to you BJP wallas Kashmir has become paradise after August 2019 so what’s wrong with West Bengal becoming Kashmir? Anyway, Bengalis love Kashmir & visit us in large numbers so we forgive you your stupid, tasteless comment. https://t.co/drxRLxvIO1— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) March 7, 2021
While the opposition is preparing to corner the BJP over Adhikari's remarks, the saffron party or the former TMC leader have not issued a statement yet.
The BJP on Saturday fielded Adhikari from Nandigram against TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee. Banerjee, who has been representing Bhawanipur, had earlier announced that she will contest from Nandigram.
West Bengal Assembly elections will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 with the final round of voting taking place on April 29. The counting of votes in the state will take place on May 2.