Kolkata: BJP leader Rajib Banerjee on Wednesday (July 7) requested party colleague and Leader of the Opposition in West Bengal assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, to be on the side of the people affected by the rising prices of petroleum products instead of targeting Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee who has got the people’s mandate to rule the state.
Rajib Banerjee and Adhikari, who were ministers in the TMC government, quit the party and joined the BJP ahead of the recently held assembly election. Adhikari won the poll but Banerjee contested it unsuccessfully. “I will urge the opposition leader: Do not direct your attack towards the chief minister who has got the mandate of the people to rule the state. The people of Bengal have given 213 seats to her party.
“Instead of mounting unfair attack on her, try to ensure that people are not affected further by the rise in the prices of petrol, diesel and LPG,” Banerjee said. TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said that Banerjee’s statement is correct.
“What Rajib said is right. Suvendu Adhikari is unfairly targeting our leader who has been mandated by the people of the state to rule. And the BJP has not uttered a single word about the prices of petrol and diesel hitting the roof,” Ghosh said. Ghosh, however, said he has no idea about the future political move of Banerjee.
Banerjee had earlier met Ghosh and senior TMC leader Partha Chatterjee at their residences fuelling speculation that he would return to his old party. However, a section of TMC workers and leaders termed him “a traitor” and said they were against his comeback. Banerjee’s request to Adhikari came in a day when BJP MP Saumitra Khan resigned as the youth wing chief of the state party unit and attacked Adhikari claiming that he tries to take credit for all the saffron camp achievements.
Khan, who left the TMC and joined the BJP in 2019, however, withdrew his resignation after senior party leaders intervened. Reacting to the developments, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said that one should keep in mind that the saffron party is not a launching pad to reach power.
“The BJP is the party for making lots of sacrifices, for being on the side of those having borne the brunt of TMC attacks. Some of the new entrants may not have realised that,” Ghosh told reporters. He said that Banerjee was a minister for many years but he did not protest against the hike in electricity tariff.