The Trinamool Congress on Tuesday accusing Bharatiya Janata Party leader Suvendu Adhikari of “harbouring criminals” and “anti-social elements” in Nandigram district, News18 reported.

Adhikari, the most prominent leader to have left the ruling Trinamool Congress and join the BJP, has challenged Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram in the eight-phased election. Voting for the 294-seat West Bengal Assembly will be held from March 27 to April 29 and the results will be announced on May 2.

In a letter to the Election Commission, TMC leader Derek O’Brien alleged that some “30-40 young boys” – all non-residents of Nandigram – had been living in a two-storey building in the district. “All these people have come from Kolaghat, Pingla, Kathi and Contai,” he alleged. “These people travel in 10-12 motorbike and are also in the possession of a car.”

O’Brien added that Adhikari was a regular visitor to the house. He also listed the addresses of three more houses in Nandigram that are allegedly sheltering around 20 to 30 people each. The local police had been informed about this, he said, but they refused to act.

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“We request you to immediately intervene and direct necessary steps to be taken by police to forthwith apprehend all outside anti-social elements hired and harboured by Suvendu Adhikari,” O’Brien added.

Last week, it was the BJP that had complained to the Election Commission about Trinamool workers attacking their rally in Nandigram, according to NDTV. Adhikari personally, too, lodged a complaint with the poll panel against Banerjee on March 15, demanding that her nomination from Nandigram be rejected as she had allegedly not declared six pending criminal cases in her election affidavit. Two days later, the Trinamool Congress approached the Election Commission, seeking Adhikari’s nomination be cancelled as he had allegedly filed wrong details about his residence in his nomination paper.

Adhikari’s acrimonious exit from the Trinamool Congress, followed by a spate of other defections, has sparked a bitter rivalry between Banerjee’s party and the BJP. One of Banerjee’s most trusted aides, he ditched her party in December. On Monday, the chief minister had called Adhikari a “traitor”, saying she had “blindly supported him” without realising his true intentions.