By Express News Service
KOLKATA: Nandigram, the epicentre of the high-octane West Bengal Assembly elections in East Midnapore, witnessed a nail-biting drama on who would be the winner Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee or her once trusted lieutenant-turned-foe Suvendu Adhikari.
The drama continued till the last round when news of Mamata’s victory came in, but minutes later, Suvendu’s victory by 1,956 votes was announced.
While the returning officer rejected Trinamool’s request for a recount, the party asked the chief election officer to reconsider it.
Accepting the verdict in Nandigram: Mamata
Hinting at her defeat, Mamata said in the evening that she was not happy with the counting process in Nandigram.
“I accept the verdict in Nandigram. I offer my salaam to the people of Nandigram. I will move to court, if necessary, to review the result. It is a minor issue for a party that is wining in 221 seats,” she said. Mamata had changed her constituency and decided to contest in Nandigram to take on Suvendu in his home turf.
The decision bolstered the morale of Trinamool’s supporters not only in East Midnapore, but also across the state. She, on, Sunday pointed out that some “small sacrifices’’ are sometimes required for larger gains.
“Whatever has happened has happened for the good. I won’t have to visit such a long distance to look after the constituency,’’ she said while referring to Nandigram. In the first five rounds, Suvendu secured a lead of more than 10,000 votes but the Trinamool camps appeared relaxed.
They said the rounds covered the areas dominated by Hindu voters. After the sixth round, Mamata started gaining votes and both the candidates started overpowering each other after every alternate round.
The tension among the supporters of the TMC and the BJP reached its peak when Suvendu secured a lead of just six votes after the 16th of a total of 17 rounds. In the last round, the rebel TMC leader and BJP’s star candidate secured his win. The TMC, however, demanded recounting in Nandigram.