West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee held a padyatra (footmarch) on Tuesday in Bhagabeda in Nandigram from where she is contesting the assembly elections. In a video shared by news agency ANI, Banerjee can be seen wheelchair-bound with her supporters as she leads the padyatra.
Banerjee has been wheelchair-bound after she was injured in an alleged attack on March 10. The chief minister was admitted to a hospital in Kolkata after the attack and discharged on March 12.
The padyatra is being held on the last day of campaigning for phase 2 of the assembly polls on April 1.
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief also held a footmarch on Monday from Khudiram More to Thakur Chawk in Nandigram. Nandigram assembly constituency goes to polls in the second phase of the West Bengal assembly elections on April 1. Banerjee faces Suvendu Adhikari – who left the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – in Nandigram which is being called a battle of prestige for both the contestants. Nandigram is important to Banerjee as it is the birthplace of the anti-land acquisition movement which propelled her to power in 2011.
Adhikari is the sitting MLA from Nandigram and his family has enjoyed significant clout in the east Medinipur district of which the Nandigram assembly segment is a part. In the campaign, TMC has consistently said that Adhikari won the 2016 election because of the TMC party and Mamata Banerjee. Adhikari, on the other hand, has projected himself as bhoomiputra (son of the soil) in the campaign.
Union home minister Amit Shah is scheduled to participate in three roadshows, including one at Nandigram in East Midnapore, and one public rally in Diamond Harbour in South 24 Parganas on Tuesday. He will also attend two more roadshows in Debra and Panskura.
Other than Nandigram, 30 assembly constituencies spread over four districts will be going to polls in the second phase of the West Bengal assembly elections. Polling for the rest of the six phases in West Bengal will be held from April 6 to April 29. Votes will be counted on May 2.