After facing a setback in West Bengal in the recent 2019 Lok Sabha elections, state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stated that she doesn't wish to continue as CM.
Banerjee made the statement at an emergency meeting called by her party, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept the polls, winning a majority 303/543 seats.
Here are more details.
'I was powerless as CM. I cannot accept that.'
"For six months I've been unable to work. I was a powerless Chief Minister. I cannot accept that. I don't want to continue as Chief Minister. The chair is nothing for me. Party symbol is most important," Banerjee said.
BJP won 18 seats from 42-seat West Bengal, up from two in 2014, coming close to TMC's 22 seats, down from 2014's 34 seats.
'Amount of money used in elections a huge scam'
Banerjee said at the press conference that central forces worked against the TMC.
Criticizing Modi's "communal politics," she said, "Such division between Hindus and Muslims will not be entertained. The amount of money used in the elections is a huge scam," claiming top IPS officers moved money for the saffron party.
Banerjee added, "I am a Hindu myself but I am against ultra-Hinduism."
Even Assembly bypolls didn't bring good news for TMC
Separately, TMC ceded ground to the BJP, which also surged in the recent assembly bypolls, held alongside the 2019 general elections. The saffron party won four seats while TMC won three out of the eight assembly bypolls in West Bengal.
Surprisingly, the BJP managed to win a vote share of 40.5% in the bypolls, more than Banerjee-led TMC's 37% vote share.
After BJP's win in Lok Sabha polls, Banerjee questioned fairness
Banerjee also questioned the fairness of the recent elections. "I can't accept this. How can BJP win so many seats in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana? People are scared to speak but I'm not," she said.
"I can only continue if people are willing to take a bold step. We need to increase our vote share. BJP's vote has come from the Left. This is mathematics."
'EC worked in BJP's favor,' says Banerjee
Banerjee claimed that the Election Commission (EC) worked in BJP's favor. She said that the EC received a deluge of complaints, however, "justice was not delivered." She said, "Not even one member of EC raised their voice in protest."
Banerjee also alleged EVM tampering, saying, "I have doubts of EVM manipulation, especially seats where we have lost with less than 1 lakh vote margin."