KOLKATA: Mamata Banerjee on Monday alleged electoral malpractice in Nandigram on a large scale, claiming a returning officer who turned down Trinamool’s pleas for a vote recount subsequently reported a menace to his life, suggesting he could have been “working at gunpoint”.
The Bengal CM, who misplaced in Nandigram to her former aide and BJP candidate Suvendu Adhikari by 1,956 votes, questioned how her 8,000-plus lead “suddenly became zero” after a server breakdown and an influence lower.
“A returning officer sent an SMS at 11pm on Sunday night. I will not say to whom this was sent,” Mamata stated, studying out the message that she stated got here to her as a ahead. “The message goes, ‘Sir, it is not my purview. Sir, please save my family. My family will ruin (sic). I have no other option but to commit suicide. Life threat is coming. I may be murdered. I had nothing to do. Please forgive me, I have a little daughter’.”
When TOI contacted the returning officer (a deputy Justice of the Peace), he declined to touch upon Mamata’s allegation and requested that he be not named. EC officers in Kolkata, too, refused to talk on the controversy.
“Can you understand what took place? The returning officer is saying it is a question of life and death,” Mamata had stated, questioning the Election Commission’s “interest” in denying a recount and declaring she would “definitely move court” towards the choice.
“What is there to fear in a recount? Why did the EC not allow this? What is their interest? All the journalists saw (what happened). The governor called me. And then everything turned upside down. I haven’t seen such mafiagiri. I want justice to prevail. Will definitely move court,” she stated, including that the BJP wouldn’t have crossed even the 50-seat mark had the EC been truthful. “The rest of the 77 seats are the EC’s contribution.”
EC sources stated a ballot consequence introduced by a returning officer might be challenged solely in a courtroom.
Mamata demanded that every one postal ballots, EVMs and VVPATs concerned within the Nandigram vote be saved individually and sealed. “There should be forensic tests if the seals are tampered with. They should be kept in safe custody,” she stated. “I am happy that the Supreme Court has upheld the Madras high court order (on the EC’s handling of the Covid situation). People depend on courts for justice.”
The CM was alluding to the aapex courtroom’s denial of an EC plea to cease media from reporting judges’ oral observations.
“People have decided that BJP is not Shahenshah. I thank Bengal’s people (all religions and linguistic groups) for showing that their spine is still very strong. Our mothers and sisters have shown us the path,” Mamata stated.