West Bengal Assembly Elections | Mamata to approach court over Nandigram result

Returning Officer was threatened, she alleges

Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee on Monday said her party would approach the court on the Nandigram election result. Speaking to journalists outside her residence, she said the returning officer (RO) of Nandigram was threatened with life if he ordered recounting of votes.

Ms. Banerjee lost the seat to BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari.

“Everywhere there is one result but at one place it is different. Then suddenly the server went slowly for four hours, and then, there was load-shedding for 40 minutes. They have changed many things, including machines,” she alleged.

She raised the question of what made the Election Commission of India (ECI) refuse recounting of votes. “Anyone can demand recounting of votes. What stake has the ECI to deny recounting,” she asked.

Ms Banerjee said the RO had sent a message to an acquaintance saying his life was under threat if he ordered recounting of polls. “Look at the situation. The RO says there is a threat to his life.” She asked a journalist to read out the ‘message’ loud.

The Nandigram seat, which witnessed the most high-profile contest between the Trinamool Congress and the BJP, kept both parties on tenterhooks till late Sunday evening . After the end of 17 rounds of counting, according to the ECI website, Mr. Adhikari defeated Ms. Banerjee by a margin of 1,956 votes. About 1,10,764 votes were polled in favour of Mr. Adhikari, while Ms. Banerjee got 1,08,808 votes.

Supporters of the Trinamool Congress continued to stage a protest outside the counting centre in Purba Medinipur district.

Ms. Banerjee said the ECI should ensure that the EVMs used for polling in Nandigram were properly preserved.

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