Mamata offers to quit; party says big 'No'
Kolkata: Expressing her deep anguish over the way BJP spent money, polarised voters and used the institutions to win the Lok Sabha poll, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee said it would open a dangerous trend in Indian democracy in the coming years. She also expressed her doubt over the alleged tampering of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) during the entire election process.
The Bharatiya Janata Party alone secured 303 of 542 Lok Sabha seats, while the Congress won 52 seats. In Bengal, the TMC won 22 out of 42 seats, while the BJP raised its tally from two seats in 2014 to 18 this year. The Congress won only two seats here while the Left Front was completely routed.
Addressing her first press conference at her Kalighat residence on Saturday evening since the announcement of results, Banerjee said she had wished to resign as the Chief Minister but her party leaders did not endorse it.
She met the core committee members and those who had contested in the Lok Sabha election along with the district presidents and observers.
"I cannot accept the way BJP has used money power and all the institutions to win votes. There has been total polarisation. This is a dangerous trend for Indian democracy. I had expressed my willingness to resign but my party leaders turned it down," she said.
Banerjee alleged that the Election Commission of India had functioned in tandem with the BJP. "We had lodged several complaints but the EC did not pay any heed to them. For the past five months, the state government could not work and even now the Code of Conduct has not been withdrawn, she said and added: "There are more than 200 companies of Central Forces and we have to pay money for their maintenance. Where from we will get money. They had withdrawn the Central Forces from Jangalmahal and Darjeeling which are vulnerable areas."
She further maintained that though "one cannot say anything against the Judiciary but recently many of its judgments have raised questions. Where should we go to register our grievances?"
Banerjee said the party has increased its vote share by 5
percent but lost 18 seats. She said she had never seen the way BJP
had spent money in the recent election. "Development took a back seat and they won the election by spending lakhs of rupees.
BJP leaders along with the
Central Force personnel had visited the houses of voters and spent Rs 5000 for every vote. This is unfortunate."
Coming down heavily on the CPI(M), she said the party made "suicidal attempts to help BJP to win the polls. The Left Front vote has come down to 7 percent from 29 percent and 22 percent votes have gone in favour of BJP."
She also said the BJP has resorted to violence in many places and has tried to create fear psychosis among the people. "The police do not report to me as it is under the Election Commission but my government would have controlled it," she said further adding:
"The party offices which the BJP have taken over will be brought back soon."
Banerjee did not rule out the tampering of the Electronic Voting Machines. "I will not elaborate the matter now. Experts are working on it. But how come Congress has not got a single seat in Delhi or Rajasthan where it had formed the government a few months ago. I will talk on the subject later," she said.
"When Rajiv Gandhi had got 400 plus seats in the Lok Sabha, nobody questioned but why are people raising doubts this time. It should be looked into."
Banerjee said she would cooperate with the Centre and support all the democratic decisions but will oppose all the decisions which that are "undemocratic and affects secularism."
The TMC chief also brought major changes in the district leadership and said she would meet the leaders once again on May 31.