West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee today announced that she would contest assembly election in the state from Nandigram in Purbo Medinipur.
The district is the epicentre of her struggle on the issue of farmers' land acquisition by the previous Left Front government that catapulted her to power a decade ago.
Mamata's decision is also a challenge to her prominent friend-turned-foe in Bengal politics Suvendu Adhikari who had won Nandigram seat in the last assembly election in 2016 as a Trinamool Congress candidate but joined Bharatiya Janata Party recently.
The decision to be in fray from Nandigram assumes significance because of the ongoing nearly two-month agitation by thousands of farmers mainly from Punjab and Haryana near Delhi's border demanding repeal of three contentious agriculture sector reforms passed by parliament last year.
"I have always started my campaign for the assembly polls from Nandigram. It is a lucky place for me. So, this time, I feel that I should contest the assembly polls from here," Mamata said while speaking at a rally in Nandigram today, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
Last time, she had successfully contested from Bhowanipore constituency in south Kolkata.
Today, Mamata also said that this time she would contest from both Nandigram and Bhowanipore and if that is not possible, someone else from her party would be in fray from the south Kolkata area.
She said she was not worried about those jumping from Trinamool Congress to other parties as when her party was formed none of them was there, in a reference to the party leaders, including Adhikari, who joined the BJP.
The agitation in Nandigram in the Purba Medinipur district over land acquisition in the late 2000s catapulted Banerjee to power in 2011, ending the 34 years of Left rule. However, Adhikari after switching over to the BJP has been alleging that the chief minister has forgotten the people of the area that helped her get to the top post.
Banerjee said she would never allow "some people" to sell out Bengal to the BJP.