Kolkata (The Hawk): Nandigram once again plays a crucial role in Bengal elections. Nandigram, in East Midnapore district, was the ground, where Mamata Banerjee, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader had launched her campaign against the then Left Front regime in Bengal. Her land movement in 2011 led her to a landslide victory in the 294-seat assembly.
Circa 2021. Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of West Bengal filed her nomination from Nandigram, leaving her traditional constituency Bhawanipur. Simultaneously, she also declared her fight against her principal opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). She contested against her one-time confidante and BJP turncoat Suvendu Adhikari.
On Sunday, there were many twists and turns as the trends from Nandigram swayed between Suvendu and Mamata from time to time. Finally, Mamata was declared winner by the Election Commission (EC). But, later in the evening, the EC changed their result and announced that Suvendu Adhikari won by 1,622 votes. The Trinamool official Twitter handle @AITCofficial said at 6.35pm: "The counting process for Nandigram has not been completed. Please do not speculate."
The EC has clarified that there was a "confusion" and hence the change in decision.
Amit Malviya, co-in-charge West Bengal BJP tweeted through his handle @amitmalviya at 6.06pm: "This is BIG. Mamata Banerjee, the sitting Chief Minister, loses Nandigram. BJP's Suvendu Adhikari wins by 1,622 votes…. Her defeat is a taint on TMC's victory…"
Mamata Banerjee, speaking to the press said, "There has been some malpractice on the part of the EC. The server was down for some time. We want to find out who are involved and what really happened."
After the party's good show, at her first appearance in front of her supporters she said that her first priority will be to tackle Covid-19 situation.
News agency ANI quoted Banerjee as saying: "Don't worry about Nandigram, I struggled for Nandigram because I fought a movement. It's ok. Let the Nandigram people give whatever verdict they want, I accept that. I don't mind. We won more than 221 seats & BJP has lost the election."
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, at the very onset of her campaign for the polls had said that she will take a two-room accommodation in Nandigram and live here from time to time to feel the pulse of the people.
Finally, her slogan of Bangla nijer meye ke chai (Bengal wants her daughter as chief minister) and the call to oust the 'outsiders' from the state worked in her favour.
Accepting defeat, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said, "We accept with all humility what the people have decided. We will play the role of a responsible opposition in the assembly. We may not have managed to win the hearts of the people, which led us to the defeat. We had a big target in mind, but our win in 70-plus seats is also a big gain for the party from the three seats in the last assembly."
On a question of turncoats, Ghosh said, "People may not have looked at it in a good sense. People may not have liked it. We have time to analyse the reasons. We may have lacked the expertise to win here and other party was better prepared. Also, people may have also thought that to avoid a hung assembly, they thought of siding with the ruling party."