West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Supremo Mamata Banerjee has challenged protege-turned-foe Suvendu Adhikari’s election from Nandigram in the Calcutta High Court. Banerjee filed an election petition before the High Court yesterday praying for declaring the Nandigram election result null and void. Justice Kausik Chanda will hear the matter today.
In her petition, the West Bengal Chief Minister has accused Suvendu Adhikari of committing corrupt practices as envisaged under Section 123 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. She accused Adhikari of ‘bribery, undue influence, spreading enmity’ and contended that discrepancies were committed in the counting process.
The election results for the West Bengal Assembly poll were declared on May 2, more than a month ago. As per the election commission, Adhikari, who joined the BJP after quitting the TMC, defeated Mamata Banerjee by 1956 votes. While Adhikari had polled 1,10,764 votes, Banerjee had got 1,08,808 votes. Adhikari’s vote percentage stood at 48.49 while that of Banerjee was 47.64.
Banerjee had requested the EC for recounting of the votes but the returning officer had refused to entertain her plea. Following what was only the second defeat of her political career, Banerjee had said that she would go to the court against the result and alleged discrepancies and malpractices in the counting process.
Banerjee had accepted Adhikari’s challenge to contest from Nandigram and had left her traditional constituency Bhabanipur. The fiercely contested election of Nandigram resulted in one of the few incidences where a sitting CM lost the poll but the ruling party secured the majority.
As Adhikari emerged as a giant slayer in the polls, the BJP which outclassed the Congress and the CPI-M, nominated him as the Leader of the Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly.