Purba Medinipur (West Bengal) [India], March 27 (ANI): The BJP leader from Nandigram, whom West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee allegedly urged to rejoin the TMC, on Saturday said that he has been with Suvendhu Adhikari's family for a long and will continue to do so.
According to Bharatiya Janata Party, Banerjee has called the party's Tamluk vice-president Pralay Pal on Saturday seeking his help and urged him to rejoin the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC).
Speaking to ANI, Pal said, "In the morning around 9 am Mamata Banerjee called me and said that you are a fighter and you should come with us. I said it is a fight for Medinipur and I have been with Suvendu's family for a long time and will stay with them."
Earlier on Saturday, BJP leader Shishir Bajoria played an audio clip of a recorded conversation at a press conference in Kolkata claiming the conversation was between Mamata Banerjee and Pralay Pal.
"In the audiotape that I played now, the chief minister is seeking help from a BJP district (Nandigram) vice-president and requesting him to return to TMC. This shows that she has realised that TMC is losing the election," Bajoria told mediapersons here.
Nandigram will witness the most high-profile contest of West Bengal elections with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee taking on her former ministerial colleague Suvendu Adhikari, who had joined BJP in December last year. Adhikari had earlier said that BJP will defeat Banerjee by over 50,000 votes from Nandigram.
The polling in Nandigram will take place on April 1, in the second phase of the upcoming Assembly elections.
Meanwhile, the first phase of the West Bengal Assembly elections concluded with an estimated 79.79 per cent voter turnout on Saturday.
In the first phase, 30 seats covering all assembly constituencies from the districts of Purulia and Jhargram and a segment of Bankura, Purba Medinipur and Paschim Medinipur went to polls to decide on the electoral fate of 191 candidates, including 21 women.
Polling that began at 7 am came to an end at 6.30 pm. Among the five districts in the state, Purba Medinipur recorded the highest voter turnout with 82.42 per cent till the end of voting time. Meanwhile, Purulia recorded the lowest voter turnout with 77.13 per cent, according to the Election Commission.
Jhargram recorded 80.55 per cent, Paschim Medinipur 80.16 per cent and Bankura 80.03 per cent voter turnouts, the poll body said.
Now the remaining seven phases for the 294-member West Bengal Assembly will be held on different dates with the final round of voting scheduled on April 29. Counting of votes will take place on May 2. (ANI)