After BJP won 18 seats in West Bengal Lok Sabha Elections making its in-ground clear in the state, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called an emergency meeting on Saturday afternoon at her Kalighat residence in South Kolkata to review the results. It has been reported that in the meeting she offered to quit as West Bengal’s Chief Minister but the party has rejected her decision.

In a press conference that she held after the meeting, she told reporters, “I have told my party, for six months I have 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 for me.”

BJP’s growing popularity has shaken TMC’s confidence in the state. While the national party won 18 seats this time, in 2014 it could only get two seats. On the other hand, Trinamool Congress has won 22 seats which is only a few seats ahead of BJP.

“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,” said the Chief Minister.

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“I can’t accept this. How can BJP win so many seats in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana? People are scared to speak but I am not,” she added.

The party thinks that BJP has eaten into the vote share of the left front which is round about 22-23% changing the political game for BJP in the state. It went from its 17% vote share in 2014 to 40% vote share.

The meeting focused on creating a roadmap on overcoming the electoral setbacks and making a turnaround as it heard the candidates and the district chiefs. There are speculations from within the party that with BJP’s growing leadership in the state; it will create pressure on Trinamool by bringing the date of assembly polls in the state closer than 2021 which is when it is supposed to be held.

“I have told my party, for six months I have 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 for me.”

Banerjee has openly shown her discontentment with the polling agency as she thrashed the Election Commission by claiming that it supported the BJP. She added that in the last five months since the campaign began, the TMC government has not been allowed to function in the state. “Don’t know if this happened anywhere in India or not but happened in Bengal. All IAS IPS were under them. The media was controlled and so was EC. An emergency like the situation was prevalent in Bengal,” she claimed, Zee News reported.

Alternatively, leaders from within Trinamool are also acknowledging the ‘Modi wave’ in the state. “To some extent, a communal campaign, shortcomings in our organisation, and to some extent a ‘Modi wave’ across the nation has affected our results.

“Surely, we will analyse and find out the reason. We will take proper corrective measures and you will see a change in the results in 2021,” senior Trinamool leader and city Mayor Firhad Hakim said, ABP News quoted.

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