Son of a former Union minister under Manmohan Singh-government, Suvendu Adhikari is an Indian politician from West Bengal. He was a member of the Indian National Congress from 1995 to 1998, and the All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) until December 2020. He then switched to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Adhikari was first elected in 1995 as a councillor from Congress in the Contai. Later, Adhikari was elected to Legislative Assembly from West Bengal's Kanthi Dakshin constituency and became the chairman of Kanthi Municipal Corporation. Adhikari championed the anti-land acquisition movement in Nandigram and led the Bhumi Uchhed Pratirodh Committee in 2007. After its success, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee made Adhikari the party-in-charge of Paschim Medinipur, Purulia, and Bankura districts.
The 50-year-old was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Tamluk constituency in 2009 after defeating rival Lakshman Seth of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M). In the 2016 Assembly elections, Adhikari got elected from Nandigram and therefore, resigned from Tamluk. He became the Minister of Transport, a post from which he resigned in November 2020. On December 17, 2020, he resigned from the primary membership of the TMC.
Ending his two-decade association, Adhikari thanked Chief Minister Banerjee for the opportunities given to him and said he would always value the time he spent as a TMC member.
In 2014, Adhikari got into a controversy when he was being interrogated by the Central Bureau of Investigation for his alleged role in the Saradha Group scandal. He was also accused of supplying arms to the Maoists to overthrow the CPI(M) government during the Nandigram movement.
Ahead of the 2021 West Bengal Assembly elections, Adhikari declared a net worth of over Rs 80 lakh according to the Election Commission. In an affidavit, the BJP leader has declared that he has criminal cases pending against him as well.
Adhikari's father Sisir Adhikari and brother Dibyendu are sitting MPs from Tamluk and Kanthi Lok Sabha constituencies. The family wields considerable influence over at least 40-45 assembly segments in Paschim Medinipur, Bankura, Purulia, Jhargram, parts of Birbhum -- mainly in the Junglemahal region -- and some areas in minority-dominated Murshidabad district.
West Bengal election 2021
Suvendu Adhikari, who rebelled against his former party TMC to join BJP, is contesting West Bengal Assembly elections 2021 from Nandigram constituency against Mamata Banerjee.