Bengal crowns its Kan’yā (daughter) again
Kolkata: Bengal reposed faith in its “daughter” and paved the way for a resounding victory for the Trinamul Congress, but Mamata Banerjee narrowly lost at Nandigram after the result of the seat was held up for a while under a cloud of claims and counterclaims, prompting the chief minister to say she would move court.
At 7.20pm, according to the Election Commission website, Trinamul had won or was leading in 216 seats, while the BJP had won or was leading in 75 seats in the elections held for 292 of the 294 Assembly seats of Bengal.
Independents were leading in two seats.
“My target was 221 seats. I had said we will score double century. Bengal, its people and women have won. Bengal has saved the entire country. This is a landslide victory fighting against all odds, central government, all agencies, election commission,” said Mamata.
“The slogans Khela Hobe and Joy Bangla worked. The game happened and we won,” she said.
In Nandigram, late on Sunday evening, poll officials said the Mamata’s rival, Suvendu Adhikary of the BJP, won the seat by 1,736 votes. While Suvendu polled 1,09,673 votes, Mamata had got 1,07,937 votes. Mamata had been trailing for most part of the day. At the end of the 16th round of counting, Adhikari, was ahead by just six votes.
Mamata chose not to up the ante. “Whatever verdict the Nandigram people have given, I accept,” she told the media at her Kalighat residence. But she spoke of foul play. “In Nandigram, they looted votes. They stopped counting, they announced one result and then they announced something else. There is some foul play here. I will move court,” she said.
Asked about her swearing-in, Mamata indicated her priority was to tackle the pandemic. “Our first priority is Covid. We won’t have a largescale oath-taking ceremony,” she said, adding that as of now, there would be no victory procession anywhere by Trinamul party members.
Mamata requested the Centre to provide free vaccines to the country. “Otherwise, I will start satyagraha,” she said.
The BJP’s vote share is close to 38 percent — 10 percent less than the Trinamul’s — and with the curtains falling on the Left and secular parties in Bengal, it remains as the principal Opposition party in the state.
For the BJP though, the performance is dismal. Despite spending crores on a campaign that saw the entire party leadership, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah, flock to Bengal, it could not cross the double figure mark.
NC, PDP, J&K Cong, NPP laud Bengali voters for ‘rejecting politics of hate’
The Congress’s Jammu and Kashmir unit and the National Panthers Party (NPP) hailed the voters of West Bengal on Sunday for “rejecting the politics of hate”.
Former J&K chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti also congratulated Mamta Banerjee for retaining power in West Bengal.
In a tweet National Conference vice-president, Omar Abdullah said: “Heartiest congratulations to @MamataOfficial didi & everyone at @AITCofficial for the remarkable victory in West Bengal. The BJP & a thoroughly partisan Election Commission threw everything including the kitchen sink at you & you prevailed. All the best for the next 5 years.”
Mehbooba Mufti also took to Twitter and wrote, ” Congratulations to Mamata Banerjee All India Trinamool Congress Derek O Brien on their splendid victory today. Kudos to the people of West Bengal for rejecting disruptive & divisive forces.”
Reacting to the outcome of election results, J&K Congress president G A Mir said the strategy of West Bengal voters and their commitment to keep the “communal and divisive” forces at bay against all sorts of onslaughts would be a lesson for voters elsewhere in different parts of the country.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah put the lives of 130 crore Indians at risk by ignoring a grave national health emergency, for the sake of winning the West Bengal state elections but the wise Bengalis rejected the politics of opportunism and communalism,” Mir said in a statement here.
He said the BJP, especially the prime minister and the Home minister, had made West Bengal the battlefield to “wrest the state at all costs by using all energy, attention and tactics at their command” but the people of West Bengal rejected their “lust for power and politics of polarization, division and communalism”.
“The entire nation of 130 crore people is today paying the price of the failure of the Modi government to take timely steps to upgrade the facilities and resources to deal with the COVID-02, which has gripped the entire country in the worst form with lack of required facilities and mismanagement at various fronts,” Mir said.
Mir also congratulated the people of Tamil Nadu and Kerala for “rejecting” the BJP.
Three states were set to beat anti-incumbency on Sunday with Mamata Banerjee emerging star of the day to lead her TMC to triumph in West Bengal for a third consecutive term while the BJP was poised for return in Assam as was the LDF in Kerala, Election Commission trends indicated.
Till evening, only a handful of results had been declared for the four states and one union territory. As votes were counted with strict Covid protocols in place, the trends pointed to a win for Tamil Nadu’s opposition DMK-led alliance over the ruling AIADMK. In Puducherry, the AINRC-led NDA was headed towards power.
NPP president Bhim Singh and other senior leaders of the party congratulated Banerjee for her party’s “great” victory against the “dictatorial leadership of Modi”.
In a separate statement, NPP chairman and former minister Harsh Dev Singh also complimented the electorates of West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu for their refusal to “succumb to politics of money and muscle power” and “handing over a resounding defeat to BJP”.
Hailing the massive majority of the regional parties including TMC, LDF and DMK, he said “a highly imprudent and self-flattered BJP with its inflated ego must realize that people of the country can no longer be swayed by deceptive slogans and false promises.”
He said the gigantic emergence of regional parties assumes greater significance especially in a situation where the “Modi-led BJP government had thrown all its might”.
“The results are an eye opener for the BJP which had been largely intoxicated with power and solely guided by the agenda of capturing power,” Singh alleged.
“With Modi magic fast fading, the Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu election result is a moment of redefining of Indian politics and re-inventing of democracy wherein the regional parties have come in prominence in the state elections,” he claimed.