Adhikari cites alleged Mamata rigging: “I am saying this as an insider”
It would appear that Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee making charges of “rigged” polls in Nandigram on Thursday, has stirred a hornet’s nest. Appearing on national TV channels of Republic TV and Times Now, her bete noir, Suvendu Adhikari has opened a pandora’s box on her alleged misdeeds.
“Mamata Banerjee is herself an architect of polling booth rigging. In her rule, 34% of opposition candidates are unable to file nominations. She used her police in a midnight operation to snatch away BJP party offices and give it to TMC,” said Adhikari in a no-holds-barred interview to Republic TV last night.
“It has been two years that 110 municipal corporations have seen no elections and student politics have lost its glory in her rule—Words of democracy doesn’t suit her at all.”
Stunningly, Adhikari claimed that in the last general polls in 2019, the BJP candidate in Arambag lost narrowly because Mamata had pressurised the DM and SDO.
“In Arambag, BJP candidate lost by 2,500 votes because votes of 16 EVMs were not counted. BJP had won Jhargram and Purulia Zilla Parishads but votes for Lotus symbol were replaced with TMC symbol overnight. I am saying this as an insider,” said Adhikari in a staggering revelation.
Suvendu also made two other important points: One, he would leave politics if the BJP doesn’t win the Nandigram seat. Two, he was confident that Mamata would contest from another seat in the final phase of Bengal elections on April 29, most probably from minority-based Birbhum constituency.
“She (Mamata) is aware that she is losing her political ground in West Bengal. She is enacting a drama. I have specific information that she would now announce her candidature from a minority-dominated seat in the Birbhum area and contest during the last phase of West Bengal election 2021.”
As for Nandigram, Suvendu said: “it comes under my constituency and I had announced that BjP will win this seat with more than 50k margin. I also said that if BJP doesn’t win Nandigram, I will leave politics. Back then my name was not announced as a candidate for this seat. But today, I am a candidate from Nandigram and I am 200% sure that Nandigram has voted in favour of development and against TMC’s misgovernance.”
Addressing a rally in West Bengal's Uluberia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also questioned Mamata Banerjee yesterday on the ‘rumours’ doing rounds that she would announce her candidature from another assembly segment.
"Didi, is there any truth in the rumour that you are going to file a nomination from another constituency? First you went there (Nandigram), & people gave you an answer. If you go somewhere else, people of Bengal are ready," PM Modi said.
Union minister Smriti Irani has also opined that Nandigram is going to be the “Amethi” moment for Mamata Banerjee. As per Irani, the chief minister camping in Nandigram and in one particular booth was an indication of the same.
“You wanted to know if this is Suvendu Da’s Amethi moment. This is happening for the first time that a CM has gone to a polling booth. This is an indication that TMC is going, BJP is coming. I wish to congratulate Suvendu Da in advance,” said Irani.
Irani famously defeated Congress’ Rahul Gandhi from Amethi during the 2019 general polls.
Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress’ MP Derek O’ Brien has denied that Mamata Banerjee would contest from another seat. “There is no confusion…Mamata Banerjee has won Nandigram. She is not fighting from any other seat…”.
Bengal's other phases of elections are scheduled on April 6, April 10, April 17, April 22, April 26, and April 29 with results to be announced on May 2.
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