Mamata raises EVM rigging claims again | Kolkata - Hindustan Times

Mamata raises EVM rigging claims again

By, Kolkata
Mar 29, 2021 04:55 AM IST

The Trinamool Congress chief said that people’s verdict “will be evident after votes are counted” on May 2.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday reiterated her EVM rigging allegations against the Centre’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in a sharp retort to Union home minister Amit Shah’s claims that his party could win 26 of the 30 seats in the state where voting was held on Saturday.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram on Sunday.(PTI)
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram on Sunday.(PTI)

The Trinamool Congress chief said that people’s verdict “will be evident after votes are counted” on May 2.

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“How can the Union home minister say that they would win 26 seats? Did he enter the EVMs or have rigged the machines? When the machines are opened (on counting day) you will see that there would be a game and everything would become zero. There would be only grass and flower (symbol of TMC),” Banerjee said at a Dol Yatra in Nandigram. Banerjee is pitted against BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari, her former confidant, from the Nandigram constituency.

Her comments were in response to Shah’s statement earlier in the day, when, addressing mediapersons at his residence in New Delhi, he said, “I believe that after winning 26 seats in the first phase in Bengal, it will be very easy for us to win over 200 seats overall”.

Banerjee, however, said, “Since 84 per cent votes were polled, I can surmise that people have voted for us.”

Also read | BJP on course to 200 seats in West Bengal, says Shah

TMC Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien also said in a tweet shortly after Shah’s press meet in Delhi, “Mind games won’t work, Mo-Sha” (a reference to Modi-Shah).” “Try your seat prediction stunts at the Gujarat Gymkhana. This is Bengal. #KhelaHobe,” O’Brien tweeted.

The chief minister sought to counter the BJP’s attempt at tagging her as an outsider in Nandigram.

“I would like to tell those who are underestimating me and tagging me as an outsider that I am bhoomikanya (daughter of the soil). I am your daughter now. This is my constituency and I am here to stay…,” she said. Nandigram goes to polls in the second phase of elections on April 1.

This was Banerjee’s first public meeting in the constituency after she sustained injuries during a roadshow on March 10. While the TMC has alleged that the CM was attacked, the Election Commission ruled out a conspiracy.

“April 1 is April Fool’s Day. Make a fool of them on April 1 and we would play Holi on May 2 with many colours like green and red,” Banerjee said, adding that she could have won by 50,000 votes if she had contested from Bhabanipur, her traditional seat and hometurf.

“Do you think that I didn’t have a seat to contest? I would have won with a margin of 50,000 votes had I contested from Bhabanipur. I am the daughter of Bengal and could have contested from any seat and won. But I came to Nandigram to salute the soil,” she said in a veiled attack on Adhikari, who has vowed to defeat her by 50,000 votes.

Meanwhile, the party has approached EC asking the poll panel to withdraw its order relaxing the rules for appointment of polling agents.

“The reason for the same has been stated to be based on inputs and for the convenience of the candidates. Such reasoning is not only ambiguous in nature but also leads us to a conclusion that it has been implemented to help certain political parties, namely the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), due to them not possessing the strength to muster enough polling agents,” the Trinamool Congress alleged in a letter to the EC dated March 26.

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