West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday evening met Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar to stake claim to form the government. Banerjee said that the Trinamool Congress will take decisions on oath-taking and Cabinet formation later in the evening.
Banerjee will take oath as chief minister for the third term on May 5, reported the Hindustan Times, citing Trinamool Congress leader Partha Chatterjee.
“Taking note of communication Trinamool Congress electing Mamata Banerjee as leader of 17th West Bengal Legislative Assembly, have invited her to take oath of office of Chief Minister on May 5 at 10.45 am at Raj Bhawan,” Dhankhar said. “Congratulations Mamata Banerjee for victory in the assembly polls and wished her a fruitful third term in office to serve the people of the State with dedication and commitment so that state regains past glory.”
In view of current Covid situation function will be with limited audience.
On Sunday, the Trinamool Congress emerged victorious in the longest-ever Assembly elections, held in eight phases amid the massive rise in Covid-19 infections in the country. The Trinamool Congress won 213 seats – way beyond the majority mark of 148 – as the BJP managed to secure only 77 constituencies, the Election Commission data showed.
Even though the Trinamool Congress won by a landslide margin, Banerjee was unable to secure the Nandigram seat, where she contested against her former aide and BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari, who switched sides in December.
During a press conference on Monday, Banerjee reiterated that she will move court against the Nandigram verdict. “How come EC [Election Commission] reversed Nandigram result after formally announcing it?” asked Banerjee.
Confusion had prevailed over the results in the Nandigram seat on Sunday. It was reported around 4.30 pm that Banerjee had won the seat by a margin of 1,200 votes. However, the Election Commission results website then showed that the counting was underway.
Later on Sunday night, the Election Commission declared Adhikari as the winner. Meanwhile, the poll panel also rejected the Trinamool Congress’ request for a recount in the Nandigram constituency after the TMC chief alleged foul play.
Banerjee on Monday claimed that she had been informed that the election returning officer in Nandigram feared for his life if he ordered the recounting, reported ANI.
On Monday, Banerjee also asked Trinamool Congress supporters to maintain peace and not indulge in any violence, reported ANI. “We know BJP and central forces have tortured us a lot but we have to maintain peace,” she said. “At present, we have [to] fight Covid-19.”
As results poured in on Sunday, there were isolated reports of violence in the state, according to the Hindustan Times. The houses and vehicles of some BJP candidates were allegedly attacked. A BJP office at Arambagh town in Hooghly district was allegedly set on fire. Adhikari’s vehicle was also allegedly attacked. TMC leaders, however, said they had nothing to do with the violence.
On the reports of violence, Banerjee alleged that the BJP was using photographs of old riot incidents, calling it the saffron party’s habit to do so. She asked why the BJP was doing such things. She also claimed that it would be the first time that a prime minister did not call to congratulate her on winning the polls. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had tweeted the congratulations after Banerjee’s victory.
Meanwhile, Dhankhar summoned the West Bengal Director General of Police P Narajnayan and Kolkata Commissioner Soumen Mitra about the reported violence in the state and asked them to take steps to control the law and order situation. He also urged residents to remain calm.
“Such political violence and lawlessness cannot be overlooked as this taints essence of [the] democratic fabric,” he tweeted. “[I] call upon people to maintain calm and peace and promote harmony.” According to the governor, nine people have lost their lives in the violence.