Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said Friday that the UP verdict was not a ‘true reflection of people’s mandate’. She dubbed as ‘daydream’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark that the election results of 2022 will set the template for 2024 parliamentary polls.
Mamata Banerjee accused the saffron camp of looting votes to win elections in politically crucial Uttar Pradesh. She urged Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav not to lose heart. Banerjee demanded that forensic tests be conducted to verify if fair means were adopted to conduct the elections.
Banerjee iterated her call for an opposition alliance to defeat the BJP. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) boss also claimed that depending on Congress would yield little.
“Using election machinery and central forces, they (BJP) have won a few states. The party can play the drum, but cannot make music. For music, you need a harmonium. If a DM (Varanasi’s Additional District Magistrate) is suspended for removing an EVM, it is a huge thing. Akhilesh Yadav (of the Samajwadi Party) lost the election because votes were looted,” Banerjee said.
“The party (BJP) should not raise its voice simply because they have bagged the elections in a few states. This victory is not a true reflection of the people’s mandate. All EVMs should undergo forensic tests to see if these were the same machines used by people to vote,” Banerjee, while speaking a press meet, added.
Banerjee also rejected assertions that the Assembly poll results reflected people’s mood for 2024 Lok Sabha elections. “The BJP should stop daydreaming. Nobody knows what will happen in 2024,” she said.
Bannerjee also hit out at the Congress over its failure to put up a credible fight against the BJP. She said the grand old party no longer seemed interested in winning elections.
“I feel all political parties who want to fight the BJP must work together. There is no point in depending on Congress anymore. The Congress was earlier capable of winning as it had an organisation. But now they are losing everywhere; it seems they are not interested anymore (in winning). They have lost credibility, and there is no point in depending on them,” asserted Banerjee.
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Banerjee talked about her party’s performance in Goa assembly polls. She said the TMC put up a commendable performance, despite having opened a unit in the coastal state just a few months back.
“We have done quite well in Goa. What more do you expect from a party, which opened its unit in the western state just three months back. We will continue to expand our party nationally,” she said.
Leader of the Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly and senior BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari, when asked about the allegations levelled by Banerjee, said her ‘baseless claims’ won’t yield any results.
“When the TMC won elections in Bengal, the EVMs were fine. But now that the BJP had won the elections, EVMs were apparently defective. This only proves the double standard (of Banerjee). She had said that UP elections would prove to be semifinal before Lok Sabha elections, and now she is saying something different,” Adhikari stated.
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