Subhendu Adhikary in Jhargram: political message through non-political platforms?

What decision will Trinamool Congress leader and West Bengal cabinet minister Subhendu Adhikary take? Will he continue to be with the Trinamool Congress, or will he join the Bharatiya Janata Party? How will it affect the politics of West Bengal ahead of the 2021 Assembly elections?

Amid these questions and speculations doing the rounds, Subhendu Adhikary – who is the state transport minister – has been repeatedly holding public meetings and programmes without his party’s banner. Is he trying to prove that he has huge public support as these meetings undoubtedly indicate? Is he trying to drive home the point that he gets love and adulation on his individual capacity, even without the Trinamool Congress banner? On Saturday, he was part of yet another public meeting at Gopiballavpur of Jhargram.

At the meeting, he took up traditional arms used by the tribals – bows, arrows and sickle – handed over to him by the local people.

A few days back, Trinamool Congress’ political advisor, Prashant Kishor, went to the Adhikarys’ home in Contai. While Subhendu was not present, Kishor had a talk with his father, senior party leader Sisir Adhikary.

However, from various public meetings, it is clear that the tension between Subhendu Adhikary and the Trinamool Congress leadership continues. Trinamool Congress leader from East Midnapore, Akhil Giri, claimed that Subhendu Adhikary will have to make clear his stand within a week. However, the state transport minister has continued with his public appearances without representing the party or the state government.

He has simply said that he will make clear his position over the next few days. Is he then sending across a strong political message from non-political platforms? It should be clear in some days.