A day after results of Uttar Pradesh Assembly election were declared on March 10, Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee cast a shadow of doubt over the BJP’s win in UP and other states, saying it wasn’t a popular mandate but a victory with the help of “election machinery and central forces and agencies”.
“The BJP did not win by popular mandate, but (by) machinery mandate. A fractured Opposition went to its advantage,” Mamata told reporters.
While expressing doubts over the sanctity of electronic voting machines, she said: “If the district magistrate of Varanasi was suspended for tampering with EVMs then it is a serious offence. Here we guarded the EVMs. In Punjab, AAP did the same. But in UP there is no such system.”
She went on to say: “All EVMs should undergo forensic tests to see if these were the same machines used by people to vote and then brought in for counting. If the BJP has won, it has not won by the popular vote. It’s not a popular mandate, it’s a machinery mandate.”
Mamata also described Akhilesh Yadav’s performance in the polls “Abhimanyu’s fight.”
“Akhilesh should not get depressed or upset. He must reach out to the people. They have gained in a number of seats as well as vote share. Like us he fought alone. He fought like Abhimanyu,” she said.
“Every time we have won elections, we have pledged to be more submissive. 2024 is still two years away. Who knows what will happen? Winning Uttar Pradesh will be BJP’s Waterloo,” TMC chief said.
In reply to a question about Congress and the 2024 elections, she said, “I say that all political parties that want to fight BJP must work together. There is no point in depending on the Congress. Congress was earlier capturing the entire country through their organisation, but they are not interested anymore, and they are losing their credibility. There are so many regional political parties. All must be working together and the decision on this can definitely be taken.”