Amid taunts by leaders of the BJP, the hearing of the election petition filed by Mamata Banerjee in the Calcutta High Court alleging fraud in the counting of votes in Nandigram has been delayed. The hearing is scheduled for next Thursday. According to court sources, Justice Kaushik Chand said today that the plaintiffs have to be present during the hearing. Mamata Banerjee’s lawyers said they would abide by the letter and spirit of the law.
Mamata Banerjee moved the Calcutta High Court, equipped with an election petition, alleging fraud in the counting of votes at the Nandigram assembly constituency. She made multiple allegations against the Election Commission including that the counting process had been rigged.
Earlier, the Trinamool Congress had claimed that the count had been rigged. The party ruling West Bengal had written to the Election Commission, demanding a recount in Nandigram.
In the letter, the party complained that it was stopped from observing the counting of votes, which the Election Commission did not mention in its report from the constituency. The party alleged that EVMs had been tampered with and false and invalid votes had also been counted in favour of the BJP. Ballot boxes and vote counting were rigged, the party said. The postal ballot was counted incorrectly, it alleged.
BJP laughs at Mamata
The BJP has taunted the Trinamool chief on Twitter over the submission of the petition. Amit Malviya, head of the party’s IT cell, wrote, “How do you lose an election twice? First, at the hustings and then, like a sore loser, challenging people’s verdict in the court. It would be fascinating to see Mamata Banerjee suffer the humiliation of Nandigram defeat twice over.”
The Nandigram seat became the epicentre of the 2021 West Bengal assembly election as Mamata Banerjee went to war with her former associate Suvendu Adhikari.
And even on the day of the announcement of the results, the tension over Nandigram had not subsided. Until late in the night of 2 May, it was not clear who was winning Nandigram.
Since the morning that day, the chief minister mostly trailed her challenger by votes ranging from 8 to 5,000. However, at one point, it was reported that Mamata Banerjee had won in Nandigram by defeating Suvendu Adhikari by a margin of 1,200 votes. However, about an hour later, the Trinamool leader lost by a margin of 1,736 votes.