BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari on Sunday lashed out at the ruling TMC, saying that the “opportunists” who have given promotions to the officers responsible for the 2007 Nandigram police firing have no right to seek votes from the people of the area as they have insulted the sacrifices made by the agitators.
Without naming his mentor-turned-adversary Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Mr. Adhikari said those who had forgotten Nandigram for 12 years are now coming here to seek votes.
Ms. Banerjee has left her Bhowanipore constituency in Kolkata to fight her former lieutenant and BJP candidate Adhikari in Nandigram, where an anti-land acquisition movement catapulted her party to power in 2011.
“Fourteen people were martyred in police firing in 2007. I have been coming here every year since 2008 to pay tribute to the sacrifices made by the people of Nandigram.
“Whether it is an election season or not, it hardly matters to me, unlike the opportunists who are now coming to this place,” Mr. Adhikari said here.
“It is ironic that those who have given promotions to police officers responsible for the Nandigram massacre are now celebrating Nandigram Divas. The TMC has also inducted some of these police officers into their party after their retirement.
Don’t cast a single vote in their favour who have betrayed and insulted you all,” he said.
Lauding the BJP’s role in the Nandigram movement, he said had the saffron party not raised the issue in the Parliament, it would have never grabbed the nation’s attention.
“The Nandigram movement would have never gained national importance had the BJP not raised it in the Parliament. The TMC managed to enter Nandigram during those days because the then leader of opposition in Lok Sabha, Lal Krishna Advani first entered the area after breaking through the barricades erected by the CPI (M),” he said.
“Some people may be ungrateful but I am not,” Mr. Adhikari, who joined the BJP during a rally of Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Medinipur in December last year, said.
The TMC observes March 14 as ‘Nandigram Divas’ to pay respect to the 14 people who were killed in police firing on this day during an anti-land acquisition stir in 2007.