Kolkata: Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee has demanded a recount of votes in her constituency Nandigram after confusion prevailed for hours Sunday over who had won and who had lost.
Speaking to Bangla news channel ABP Ananda, Banerjee said she would demand that the Election Commission to conduct a recount of the votes as she “smelled a rat” in the counting.
The results from Nandigram, one of the most fiercely fought battles between Banerjee and her former aide Suvendu Adhikari, saw several twists and turns since Sunday morning.
Adhikari was leading in Nandigram in the initial rounds of counting, but Banerjee later closed the gap.
However, at a press conference in the evening, Banerjee conceded defeat, saying, “There has been a mischief played by the ECI in Nandigram. We will go to the court as the people have witnessed the horror of the ECI. How can the verdict of the people of Bengal be different in just one constituency?”
As of 8.45pm, the TMC had won 212 seats, while the BJP secured 73 seats, according to CNN-News18. The TMC is leading in three more seats, and the BJP in two.
“Do not be sad about Nandigram. It is good that I now do not need to go that far… everything happens for good. I bow down to the people of Bengal for this clear mandate,” Banerjee said at the press conference.
TMC Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’ Brien tweeted, quoting Banerjee, “For winning a greater battle, you must sacrifice something.”
Meanwhile, several BJP leaders tweeted that Adhikari won by over 1,600 votes, even before the ECI declared the results officially.
BJP’s co-incharge for West Bengal Amit Malviya wrote, “This is BIG. Mamata Banerjee, the sitting Chief Minister, loses Nandigram. BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari wins by 1,622 votes. After this crushing defeat what moral authority will Mamata Banerjee have to retain her Chief Ministership? Her defeat is a taint on TMC’s victory…”
This is BIG.
Mamata Banerjee, the sitting Chief Minister, loses Nandigram.
BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari wins by 1,622 votes.
After this crushing defeat what moral authority will Mamata Banerjee have to retain her Chief Ministership?
Her defeat is a taint on TMC’s victory…
— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) May 2, 2021
Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar even congratulated Adhikari for “the stunning victory”.
— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) May 2, 2021
How confusion prevailed
Earlier in the day, one of Banerjee’s Nandigram team members told ThePrint she had won. TMC leader Purnendu Bose also told ThePrint that Banerjee had won by 1,200 votes.
Similarly, Adhilkari’s Nandigram team members said he had won, while the counting was still going on.
Meanwhile, TMC’s official handle tweeted that the counting process for Nandigram wasn’t yet completed.
The Election Commission is yet to officially declare the result for Nandigram. Its website as of 8.45 pm showed that the result is in progress.
(Edited by Debalina Dey)