Kolkata, June 1 :
A day after he was removed as head of the party’s youth arm, a Trinamool Congress MP regarded as the face of the peasant agitation at Nandigram during the Left Front regime, created a stir by claiming that he knew how many of those who have won by huge margins in the Lok Sabha polls emerged victorious and “conducted” their own elections.
“In this election, there are some others who have won by huge margins. I thank them. I know how they won, how they managed the polls,” said Subhendu Adhikari, who retained his Tamluk Lok Sabha seat this time by a two lakh plus margin.
He made the comments Saturday at a meeting in his constituency where he was feted for his electoral triumph.
Adhikari, who had played a key role in the peasant unrest in East Midnapore district’s Nandigram in 2007-2008 that aborted the Left Front government’s bid to acquire agricultural land for setting up a chemical hub and put the Mamata Banerjee led Trinamool on the road to its ultimate triumph in the 2011 assembly polls, was removed as head of the Trinamool Youth Congress Friday.
He, however, said he did not need anybody’s “stamp” to work for the people.
“I am a whole-timer for the people. I don’t need any post for this. For this I don’t need anybody’s stamp, anybody’s approval,” he said, in what is being interpreted as a pot shot targeting the party leadership.
Adhikari, whose father Sisir Adhikari is also a Trinamool Lok Sabha member, claimed that he did not become a parliamentarian for his “family identity”.
Lashing out at his detractors, Subhendu Adhikari said in the lead up to the elections, rumours were floated that his seat would be reserved for women.
“Next there were rumous that it will be made a scheduled caste seat. Then some people floated rumours that I wanted to shift to West Midnapore district.”
“Then there were talks that my popularity has eroded, and I will win by a lesser margin than 2009. But to the eternal sorrow of all of them, I have won by a bigger margin,” he added.
Though the state Trinamool leadership refused to react to Adhikari’s comments, party’s new East Midnapore district working president Akhil Giri strongly criticised him.
“He has done something wrong by commenting on the victory margins of other MPs. He should know that Mamata Banerjee is our only leader. He won because Banerjee nominated him. Without her, he is nothing.”
The opposition parties were, however, quick to pounce on Adhikari’s statement.
“He was the face of the Nandigram movement. He has caught Banerjee’s wrath because of his popularity,” said state Congress chief Adhir Chowdhury.
He also backed Adhikari’s statement about the winning margins of some MPs. “We all know how vote was looted, and the elecitons were rigged in the recent polls.”
Communist Party of India-Marxist central committee member Mohammad Salim said Adhikari should being everything into the public domain.