Kolkata, March 12 (KMS): Rejecting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s contention that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP)’s victory in the four states is an indication of the nation’s mood in the run-up to the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee advised the BJP to stop daydreaming.
While the BJP is gloating over the favourable outcome in the just concluded assembly elections, the Trinamool Congress chief raised doubts over the saffron party’s extraordinary performance in Uttar Pradesh, as also in other three states namely Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa. She was quoted as saying, “It wasn’t a popular mandate but a victory with the help of “election machinery and central forces and agencies.”
In this regard, she suggested forensic test of all EVMs to ascertain whether these were the same machines used by people to vote and then brought in for counting or not. She asserted that BJP has not won by the popular vote. She coined a new word to describe the phenomenon, “a machinery mandate”, as against a popular mandate.
Regarding the Congress’ challenge to the BJP, Mamata pointed out the futility of banking on the grand old party’s ability to take on the BJP in 2024. However, she reiterated her resolve for a coalition of opposition parties.
Addressing a press conference in Kolkata a day after the state election results, she said, “Through the use of election machinery and Central forces and agencies they (the BJP) have won and few states and now they are jumping around. They play a kettle drum but they cannot make music. For music, you need a harmonium.”
Referring to the controversy over the videos of EVMs flagged by the Samajwadi Party, she said, “If a DM (Varanasi’s Additional District Magistrate) is suspended for removing an EVM (Electronic Voting Machine), then it is a huge thing. I feel Akhilesh [Yadav] has been made to lose. There was loot. Akhilesh should not be depressed and upset. He should go to the people and challenge this.”