Kolkata: The spotlight is on Nandigram yet again, which Mamata Banerjee has lost by 1953 votes to her arch rival, BJP's Suvendu Adhikari. The loss came against the backdrop of Trinamool Congress’ landslide victory in Bengal and immediately became a talking point in view of a negative public perception about the Election Commission.
"I accept the verdict in Nandigram - it is not a big deal. Don't worry," Mamata had initially said. But realising the optics that would envelop Adhikari’s win, a 3-member TMC delegation rushed to the Returning Officer in Nandigram and sought a recount of the ballot papers, a request that has been turned down. That forecloses Mamata’s options as she must now move court and secure a favourable ruling.
Earlier in the day, she was smug about the final poll outcome. " 'Khela hobe' did happen, and we did win. The BJP kept going on and on about double-engine sarkar, while I assured you all that I will score a double century. This is Bangla's win... this is Bengal's win... this is your win. This win has saved Bengal, it has saved the culture and tradition of Bengal," said Banerjee who ran a bitter, no holds barred campaign against the BJP over two months as Covid cases surged. Meanwhile, it is understood that Adhikari’s vehicle was attacked in Haldia.
In the run-up to the election, Mamata had taken the poll battle into her BJP’s rival’s camp by deciding to contest from his bastion. It was seen by political observers as Mamata’s masterstroke. All day on Sunday, the TMC supremo was trailing by a considerable margin but made up later, turning the contest into what looked like a nail-biting finish