In a major development, the Trinamool Congress on Sunday approached state Chief Electoral Officer Ariz Aftab demanding recounting of votes in Nandigram after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee lost from there against her one-time aide and BJP candidate Suvendu Adhkari in the ‘battle of prestige in East Midnapore district.
On Sunday evening, a Trinamool delegation led by its Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’ Brien, former Mayor Firhad Hakim, MP Kalyan Banerjee and Atin Ghosh met CEO Ariz Aftab and submitted a letter demanding recounting of votes.
In the letter, the ruling party alleged that certain ‘preposterous’ and ‘illegal’ things have happened during the counting of votes in Nandigram for which it is demanding immediate recounting.
Elaborating further, the letter said that the counting process in Nandigram was stopped from time to time, alleging tampering of EVM.
In the letter, it has also been alleged that false votes were counted in favour of the BJP while Trinamool votes were wrongfully rejected.
“The candidate, Mamata Banerjee, has sought recounting of votes before the Returning Officer, Nandigram, but such recounting has been refused for reasons unknown. Such refusal is bad in law and colour,” the letter said.
The Nandigram incident sparked a controversy when after several twist-and-turns, Banerjee’s one-time aide Adhikari reportedly defeated her by a narrow margin. The Trinamool, however, did not accept the verdict, claiming that the counting is still on.
Meanwhile, Adhikari in a tweet congratulated the people of Nandigram for his victory and attached a copy of the tabulation sheet of the last round of counting that shows him winning by a margin of 2,036 votes.
Adhikari tweeted, “My sincere thanks to the great People of Nandigram for their love, trust, blessings, and support, and for choosing me as their representative and the MLA from #Nandigram. It is my never-ending commitment to be of service to them and working for their welfare. I am truly grateful!”
Banerjee retorted by saying, “The Election Commission worked as a spokesperson of the BJP and now see what they are doing. Three hours back, it said something and now it is saying something else. Let Nadigram give its verdict, I shall accept that. I shall go to the court.”
Later she said, “Nandigram is not a matter to me. I have so many seats but something wrong has happened there. The EVMs were tampered. The server was down for four hours. Everywhere we are winning but we have lost there only.”
The EC will now take the final call. Though officially none was ready to speak, but sources in the Commission said the ECI has been communicated about the developments and it will take a final decision on the matter.