West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress has decided to defer the release of its election manifesto as party leader and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is hospitalised after she was injured in an alleged attack on her during her two-day visit to Nandigram on March 10.
The party was to release the manifesto on March 11. Banerjee filed her nomination from the Nandigram assembly seat for the assembly elections, the voting for which has been spread over eight phases. Banerjee will go up against her former senior aide Suvendu Adhikari, who will be the BJP's candidate from Nandigram.The Chief Minister alleged she was pushed by unidentified persons while she was campaigning. She is being treated at Kolkata’s SSKM Hospital for the “severe bone injuries” she sustained on her left foot and ankle. Banerjee has reportedly injured her shoulder, forearm, and neck as well.
In a video message recorded from her hospital bed, Banerjee urged her supporters to maintain calm: “I appeal to everyone to be peaceful and maintain restraint, and not do anything that will inconvenience people…. I will be back in two-three days,” she said.
Voting for the 294-seat assembly will be over a month from March 27. The final round of voting will be held on April 29 and counting will be done on May 2.
While Banerjee is eyeing a third consecutive term, the Bharatiya Janata Party is looking to deliver a knockout punch to her in the state where it has emerged as a serious rival only in the last few years.(With agency inputs)