Nandigram Election Result 2021: After several twist and turns and much hullabaloo, the Election Commission yesterday declared Suvendu Adhikari victorious from the Nandigram seat which witnessed a high-intensity contest between Mamata Banerjee and her protege-turned-rival Adhikari. While some initial media reports suggested that Banerjee defeated Adhikari, though there was no confirmation from the Election Commission. After around half an hour, another report came suggesting Adhikari as the winner. While Adhikari thanked the people of Nandigram on Twitter, the TMC tweeted saying that counting is not over and urged people not to speculate. The EC took its time before declaring the result after conducting the mandatory VVPAT-EVM votes matching. It declared that Suvendu Adhikari outsmarted West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee by a margin of 1,956 votes. As per the Election Commission, Adhikari polled 1,10,764 votes while Banerjee garnered 1,08808 votes. CPI(M)’s Minakshi Mukherjee finished third with 6267 votes. The TMC had demanded recounting but the Returning Officer turned down the demand.
Now when the TMC has secured a landslide majority of 213 seats and its Chief Ministerial candidate, Mamata Banerjee, has herself lost the election, the Trinamool supremo needs to get re-elected to the West Bengal assembly from any other constituency. Interestingly, Banerjee moved to Nandigram and fielded Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay from her traditional constituency Bhawanipore. Chattopadhyay won from the seat by a margin of 28,719 votes defeating his nearest rival Rudranil Ghosh of BJP.
Since there is no bi-caramel legislature arrangement in West Bengal like Bihar or Uttar Pradesh, the state doesn’t have a Legislative Council, Banerjee will have no other option than to contest assembly by-poll. Though any of the elected TMC MLA may easily vacate his/her seat for Banerjee, she has two options in front of her without sacrificing any of the elected MLA.
Notably, there are 294 seats in the West Bengal assembly and only 292 went to the polls. Polling in two seats – Shamsherganj and Jangipur after the nominated candidates’ death. On the other hand, TMC candidate Kajal Sinha from the Khardaha assembly constituency which voted on April 22 in the sixth phase, had died due to COVID last week. Though he won the election by a margin of 28140 votes when the results were announced yesterday, a by-poll has been necessitated due to his demise. One option available to Banerjee is that she can contest from any of these three constituencies.
It may be recalled that when Mamata Banerjee announced the TMC candidate list, she had indicated about the creation of the Legislative Council. Announcing the list in which she had excluded several senior leaders including those above 80 years, Banerjee had said that after the TMC comes to power, it would create Vidhan Parishad or Legislative Council to accommodate senior and experienced leaders who were excluded from the list. She can go for this second option as well but will be requiring Parliament’s approval for the same as a Legislative Council may be created or abolished by Parliament under Article 169 of the Indian constitution if the State Legislative Assembly passes a resolution for the same by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members. For West Bengal, the two-thirds majority means 196 seats which will not be a problem for the TMC as it has 213 members in the new assembly.