As trends pointed to a massive victory for BJP-led NDA in Lok Sabha elections 2019, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday tweeted her congratulations to the winners while adding that her party will share its view only after the VVPATs are matched. “Congratulations to the winners. But all losses are not losses. We have to do a complete review and then we will share our views with you all,” Banerjee, the chief of ruling TMC in Bengal, tweeted.
“Let the counting process be completed fully and the VVPATs matched,” she added.
Trends in West Bengal indicate major gains for the BJP. At the time of writing, the saffron party was leading in as many as 19 seats. In 2014, the party had won only 2 seats. By percentage of gains, BJP has appears to be marking its biggest success in Bengal. The Election Commission on Wednesday turned down the demand of 22 Opposition parties to count the VVPAT slips first at randomly selected five polling booths.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had directed the ECI to increase random matching of EVM results with paper trail machine slips from one polling station per assembly seat to five. The Commission said the VVPAT verification will be done after the counting of votes and not before. On Tuesday, just two days ahead of counting of votes, 22 opposition parties, including TMC, demanded that VVPAT slips at randomly selected five polling booths should be counted first, and if any discrepancy occurs, then VVPAT slips should be tallied for the entire assembly segments.
Leaders of the opposition parties, who held a meeting in Delhi on the issue and then jointly approached the EC, also raised concerns over reports about Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) being “replaced” at various places. The delegation also comprised of Nationalist Congress Party’s Praful Patel, DMK’s Kanimozhi, Trinamool Congress’ Derek O’Brien, Samajwadi Party’s Ram Gopal Yadav, Bahujan Samaj Party’s Satish Chandra Misra, Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Manoj Jha, Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury, Communist Party of India leader D.
Raja and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal. Other parties that took part in the meeting were the Janata Dal-Secular, the Indian Union Muslim League, the Rashtriya Lok Dal, the Jharkhand Vikas Morch-Prajatantrik, the Loktantrik Janata Dal, the National Conference, the NPF, and the Hindustani Awami Morcha.