Senior TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee led a 20-km-long march to Nandigram in Purba Medinipur on Thursday, taking the fight for the panchayat elections to the stronghold of Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari who defeated Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in this seat in the 2021 assembly polls.
Abhishek began his march in Chandipur in the afternoon, and concluded it in Nandigram. The march was a part of his Trinamooley Nabojowar (New Wave in Trinamool) campaign ahead of the panchayat elections.
"The outpour of love for #JonoSanjogYatra, from thousands of you every day has convinced me that a Jono Jowar has taken over Bengal. People's growing support assures me that Trinamool Congress is set to outperform itself in the upcoming Panchayat Polls and beyond," he tweeted.
"I am certain that people across India have realised the damage that @BJP4India has caused in the socio-political sphere. Later this year, we have 5 State Elections. I am sure beyond a shadow of doubt that BJP will lose in all 5 states. The end of BJP's misrule has begun!" he added.
He interacted with the people, and heard their grievances during the march.
Nandigram, which grabbed national headlines in the mid-2000s for the protests against land acquisition, was again the centre of attention during the 2021 assembly polls after the chief minister challenged Adhikari from the seat.
Adhikari won it in a major upset for the TMC that retained power for a third consecutive term, and Banerjee fought a bypoll from the Bhabanipur seat to continue as chief minister.
While Abhishek was touring Nandigram, Adhikari visited Garh Salboni in Jhargram district where the TMC leader's convoy was attacked last week, and met families of the people arrested in the case.
"The CPI(M) government did it here, and now the TMC government is doing it -- detaining people without trial. I stopped it that time, and will do it now as well," he said, after visiting the house of Ajit Mahato, who was among the 10 people arrested for allegedly attacking Abhishek's convoy.
"Poor people are being tortured here. This cannot go on. People of all political parties are there within the Kurmi community. Divisions are being created between tribals and Kurmis," he said, promising the families of those arrested all kinds of assistance.
Stones were hurled at Abhishek's convoy in the Garh Salboni area on Friday, in which state minister Birbaha Hansda's vehicle was vandalised. Glass particles from the shattered windscreen of the car hit Hansda, and also injured her driver. Some cars and motorcycles that were following them were also vandalised in the stone-pelting.
The Kurmi community, which is classified as OBC in West Bengal at present, protested for days in April in different districts of the state, including Dakshin Dinajpur, Purulia, Jhargram and Paschim Medinipur, disrupting traffic on highways and railways.
After the attack, the TMC alleged that the BJP was behind it.
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