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Suvendu Adhikari organises march without TMC banner; TMC says he is with the party

Adhikari has been maintaining a distance from TMC and not attending cabinet meetings

Subhendu-Adhikary Suvendu Adhikari | Salil Bera

Disgruntled TMC leader Suvendu Adhikari conducted a march in Nandigram area in East Midnapore district on Tuesday without the party banner and said he would continue "to fight for democracy", even as Trinamool Congress leadership said the minister is still with the party.

Adhikari, who has been maintaining a distance from the party and not attending meetings of the state cabinet took out a march during the day in the Khejuri area to pay respects to the people who died during the Nandigram anti-land acquisition agitation.

Nandigram was the epicentre of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjees land movement in 2007 and it was from here that she began her journey to seize power in the state from the CPI(M).

"I had fought against the goons during the Nandigram agitation single-handedly. All my life, I had fought for democracy and will continue to do so. The masses are with me. I have been part of mass movements all my life," he said while addressing a rally in Khejuri.

Incidentally just like his November 10 rally at Nandigram, this time too there were neither party posters nor flags at his rally.

When asked about the Adhikaris rally, senior TMC leader Sougata Roy said Adhikari is very much with the party.

"You should have seen his procession and understood that he would not do anything against the party. He is very much with the party," he said.

Talks between the ruling TMC and Suvendu Adhikari, on Monday, remained inconclusive and more meetings are likely to take place soon, sources said.

Roy, who has been tasked with the job of holding talks with Adhikari, held a nearly two-hour-long discussion, party sources said.

TMC has opened back-channel talks with Adhikari and is trying to address his grievances to retain him in the party. Roy along with senior party MP Sudip Bandopadhyay has been assigned by the party to talk to him.

Adhikari apart from East Midnapore district, from where he hails, influences about 35-40 assembly constituencies of West Midnapore, Bankura, Purulia and Jhargram districts which fall in the tribal Jangalmahal area and parts of Birbhum district.

Elections to the 294-member West Bengal Assembly are due in April-May next year.  

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