"Nandigram Official Said Recounting Order May Risk Life": Mamata Banerjee

The Returning Officer of Nandigram had told somebody a recounting order could risk his life, Mamata Banerjee said.

'Nandigram Official Said Recounting Order May Risk Life': Mamata Banerjee

Mamata Banerjee has alleged that the counting of votes in Nandigram was not above board.

Mamata Banerjee, who has won Bengal but lost the battle for Nandigram to her former aide-turned-BJP rival Suvendu Adhikari, claimed today that the election officer who oversaw counting in the constituency was threatened.

The Returning Officer of Nandigram had told somebody a recounting order could risk his life, Ms Banerjee told reporters.

Ms Banerjee lost the Nandigram election to Suvendu Adhikari by a little over 1,700 votes after a day of counting that ended close to midnight.

She and her Trinamool Congress have alleged that the counting of votes was not above board. Demands for a recount were turned down by the election officer.

The Returning officer of Nandigram said a recounting order can lead to his life risk, Ms Banerjee alleged today, reading out what she claimed was an SMS from someone on what the officer had feared.

"I received an SMS from someone wherein Returning Officer of Nandigram has written to someone if he allows recounting then his life would be under threat. I can't order recount. My family will be in ruin. I have a little daughter...," she read from her phone.

Ms Banerjee also said the servers were down for four hours. "The Governor also congratulated me. Suddenly everything changed," the Chief Minister alleged.

Ms Banerjee trailed Mr Adhikari for 11 rounds until the trend changed in the next four round, with margins ranging from six to 11,000. Finally, Mr Adhikari gained in the final rounds and was declared winner late on Sunday.

Trinamool Congress leader Derek O'Brien said the party would go to the Election Commission. "Something is fishy about Nandigram, don't you think? A party wins nearly three-fourths of all the seats in the state and the Chief Minister loses her seat - something very fishy went on in Nandigram," Mr O'Brien said in an interview to NDTV.