Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a dig at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, asked if she would contest the elections from another seat, suggesting that her loss in Nandigram is imminent, the Trinamool Congress sources clarified that she harboured no such intention.
Sporadic incidents of violence, allegations of booth capturing and clashes on Thursday marked the second phase of assembly polls in Bengal, especially in the high-profile Nandigram constituency, even as 80 per cent turnout was recorded till 5 pm.
The Election Commission has sought a report in connection with an incident in the Boyal area of Nandigram – where Mamata Banerjee was held up for more than two hours following a siege allegedly laid by supporters of the BJP.
BJP leader Jaiprakash Majumdar, echoing the Prime Minister, said that Ms Banerjee is “likely to contest from another seat after sensing defeat in Nandigram”, an assertion rejected by the Trinamool leadership.
Slamming the BJP for “causing disturbance” in the high-stake constituency — where the chief minister is pitted against her protege-turned-adversary Suvendu Adhikari – Trinamool MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said the PM must “apologise for such wild and baseless claims”.
“What happened today in Nandigram reflects BJP”s frustration. The party will lose the election not just from the Nandigram constituency, but also other seats that went to polls in the first two phases,” he told reporters.
Another Trinamool leader, who did not wish to be named, said the question of Mamata Banerjee fighting from another constituency does not arise as she will be winning the Nandigram seat comfortably.