Mamata Banerjee will be sworn in as the chief minister of West Bengal for the third time on May 5, her party announced on Monday (May 3). The new MLAs of the Trinamool Congress unanimously elected Banerjee as the legislative party leader at a meeting in Kolkata, its secretary-general Partha Chatterjee said.
The TMC legislators elected the speaker in the outgoing House, Biman Banerjee, as the pro-tem speaker in the new Assembly. “The newly-elected members will take oath in the Assembly from May 6,” Chatterjee told reporters at the party headquarters here after the meeting of the legislators
Mamata said she suspects foul play in the Nandigram election result, in which she lost to her former aide-turned-rival, Suvendu Adhikari. She said she will take the matter to court.
A day after the Trinamool Congress (TMC) won the state Assembly elections with a resounding majority, she told journalists that it was not possible for her to have lost Nandigram, while her party had swept Bengal.
“While the entire state has given one mandate, can it happen that one constituency will give another mandate? Is it possible? It is not,” she said. Further, she asked pointedly, how come the Election Commission reversed the Nandigram result after formally announcing it? “We will move court,” said an angry Banerjee, reported The Indian Express.
The results of the contest in Nandigram appeared to swing back and forth between Banerjee and Adhikari throughout the day of counting. At first, it was announced that Banerjee had won the election by a margin of 1,200 votes, but the returning officer subsequently said Adhikari had won victory by 1,956 votes.
The returning officer had even turned down TMC’s plea for an immediate recounting of the votes polled in Nandigram, Banerjee said. Subsequently, the TMC had written to the Chief Election Officer asking him to reconsider their decision.
Banerjee told the media that she had seen an SMS from Nandigram’s returning officer to someone stating that “his life would be under threat” if he allowed a recount. “For four hours, the server was down, the governor also congratulated me. Suddenly, everything changed,” she complained.
Meanwhile, following reports of violence after TMC’s victory, Banerjee urged her supporters to maintain peace. She appealed to everyone to maintain peace and not indulge in any violence. “We know BJP and central forces have tortured us a lot but we have to maintain peace,” she said, adding that they had to focus on fighting COVID-19 at present.
The TMC chief would meet the governor at 7 pm on Monday (May 3) to decide the details on oath-taking and cabinet formation, she said.
As per the final results announced by the Election Commission, the TMC has won 213 of the 292 assembly seats, which secures the party a third straight term in office. While the party’s main challenger, the BJP has bagged 77 seats, while the ISF, and an Independent, managed one seat each.