Be ready to hit streets, Suvendu tells supporters

TMC MP Saugata Roy said doors were still open for talks with Adhikari. Roy has been leading the party’s efforts to keep Adhikari in its fold.

A day after he resigned from the state Cabinet, it was learnt on Saturday that dissident Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Suvendu Adhikari has told MLAs and party leaders backing him to be ready to hit the streets. This came even as the ruling party said the door for dialogue was still open.

“After he resigned, we have been told to be ready to hit the streets in campaign mode. We are waiting for his green signal. We have been preparing for this for the past six months. Our separate organisation and followers are ready in more than five districts in Bengal,” said a TMC leader close to Adhikari.

TMC MP Saugata Roy said doors were still open for talks with Adhikari. Roy has been leading the party’s efforts to keep Adhikari in its fold.

“Doors are still open for talks with Suvendu. There should be discussions with him. I am hopeful of dialogue between Suvendu and the party leadership,” Roy told reporters, adding, “Suvendu’s mother is unwell, so the talks may have to wait till she gets well.”

TMC sources said the party called up the rebel leader’s father Sisir Adhikari, who is an MP, to ask his son to come to Kolkata for a meeting. Sisir informed the party that his wife was unwell and Suvendu would not be able to go to Kolkata, ruling out any meeting between the two sides in the coming days.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will address a rally in Medinipur on December 7, and then embark on a series of public meetings in various districts. Medinipur is considered to be a stronghold of Adhikari, who has not only quit the Cabinet but has also stepped down as the chairperson of the Hooghly River Bridge Commission and the Haldia Development Authority. He is scheduled to address an event in Mahishadal in Purba Medinipur district on Sunday in memory of freedom fighter Ranajit Kumar Boyal.

According to sources, Suvendu is in regular touch with his own followers, TMC MLAs and other grassroots party workers and leaders in at least five districts.

“He told us first to be self-reliant and have a separate organisation ready. At least he is not a person who will depend on others. He has a mass base and we have built up a system to channelise the mass base during the upcoming elections. As a leader, he has his own fan base,” said the leader close to Adhikari.

As the rift between the TMC and the dissident leader turned into a chasm in the last few months, posters and banners of an organisation calling itself “Amra Dadar Anugami [We are our elder brother’s followers]” appeared in different parts of the state such as Purba and Paschim Medinipur, Howrah, Hooghly, Kolkata, Birbhum, Jhargarm, and Siliguri. Sources close to Adhikari said he and his followers had successfully formed an organisation in parallel to the TMC.

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