The poll results announced on May 2 meant that Trinamool Congress got the mandate for a third straight term in the office. However, Mamata Banerjee, the TMC supremo, lost her seat against BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari at the hotly contested Nandigram seat. The results of the seat were a topsy turvy ride, as at one point, Mamata momentarily was crowned the champion before her world came crashing down.
Nandigram was always going to be a tough fortress for Mamata to breach and after the defeat, it appears that Didi is unable to come to terms with the reality. She has once again resorted to her antics to twist the narrative and question the integrity of the Election Commission (EC) and its officers.
On Sunday evening, a TMC delegation led by its Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’ Brien, Kolkata former Mayor Firhad Hakim, MP Kalyan Banerjee and Atin Ghosh met Chief Election Officer and submitted a letter seeking a recount of votes in Nandigram. The TMC claimed in its letter that certain ‘preposterous’ and ‘illegal’ things have happened during the counting of votes in Nandigram and that’s why the EC must order a recounting of votes.
However, the EC promptly rejected any such request, giving a blunt answer to the TMC cadre. After getting rejected by the EC, Mamata took the onus upon herself and alleged that there was voter fraud as 8,000 votes had disappeared.
“Everywhere there is one result; at one place it is different. Where did the 8,000 votes lead disappear? Then suddenly the server went slow for four hours, and then there was load shedding for 40 minutes. They have changed many things including machines,” said the TMC chief.
Mamata didn’t stop here and on Monday said EVM’s were tampered with and that the Returning Officer (RO) had denied recounting fearing a threat to his life.
“Look at the situation — the RO says there is a threat on his life if he orders a re-counting,” said Mamata whilst showing the purported message of the RO which read, “Sir, it is not in my preview (purview). Sir, Plz save me. My family will ruin. I have no other option, but to commit suicide. Life threat is coming. I may be murdered. I had nothing to do. Plz, forgive me. I have a little daughter.”
Owing to the destruction and post-poll violence that TMC goons allegedly have orchestrated in the state, the EC is learned to have asked the state government to provide police protection to the Nandigram RO Kishore Kumar Biswas.
“The elections are over, and the Model Code of Conduct has been lifted from all four states and one union territory. The EC has asked the West Bengal government to give the officer protection, but it’s up to them to do it,” an official was quoted as saying by the Indian Express.
It is interesting to note that no “EVM tampering” narrative has been churned out by TMC for the other 212 seats where it has won. Just because the BJP has been defeated on those seats, TMC is all right with the EVMs. Such double standards are the reason why EC did not pay any heed to Mamata’s accusations.
Suvendu Adhikari had switched the camps in December last year and it was his defection that forced Mamata to give up on her traditional Bhabhanipur seat and parachute to Nandigram. The sole reason for her change in seats was to contain Adhikari, who could have taken the entire South West Bengal with himself. Although Mamata couldn’t beat him, she did manage to contain some damage in the South.