The Trinamool Congress on Thursday asserted that party chief Mamata Banerjee’s win in Nandigram was imminent and that she was not contesting from any other seat in the West Bengal Assembly elections. The statement came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed that Banerjee would contest from a different constituency, implying that she will lose the polls, reported India Today.
“Didi [Mamata Banerjee] is winning Nandigram,” the Trinamool Congress tweeted. “The question of her fighting from another seat doesn’t arise. Narendra Modi Ji, retract from your efforts to mislead people before they see your lies with the end of nomination in WB [West Bengal].”
The party also asked the prime minister to find a safer seat to contest in the 2024 General Assembly elections as he will be challenged in Varanasi.
TMC MP Mahua Moitra also took a dig at Modi on his statement. “‘Contesting from second seat?’ PM Modi jabs Mamata Banerjee,” she tweeted. “Yes Mr. Prime Minister, she will. And it will be Varanasi! So go get your armour on.”
Earlier in the day, Modi had claimed that Banerjee will now be filing her nomination from a second seat. “Didi, is there any truth in the rumour that you are going to file nomination from another constituency?” Modi had said in a rally in Uluberia in Howrah district. “First, you went there [Nandigram] and people gave you an answer. If you go somewhere else, the people of Bengal are ready.”
Unidentified party officials had then clarified that Banerjee was contesting any other seat. “The question of CM fighting from any second seat doesn’t arise,” a party official told India Today. “She is winning Nandigram comfortably.”
Amid the war of words, voting for the second phase of elections was held in the state. A voter turnout of 80.43% was reported in Bengal. A total of 30 seats voted, including Nandigram where Banerjee contested Suvendu Adhikari, her former aide who defected to the Bharatiya Janata Party.
During the voting, a clash broke out between TMC and BJP supports in Nandigram. The Election Commission sought a report about the incident from the local administration. However, after voting concluded, the poll panel said that General Observer Hemen Das, who was sent to the Boyal booth on the basis of media coverage, said in his report that polling was not disrupted at any moment. The poll body also said that a separate complaint filed on the matter by Banerjee has been forwarded to the special general observer and special police observer. They have been asked to send a report on the incident by 6 pm on Friday, the Election Commission said.