Scattered Incidents Of Violence Mar Fourth Phase Polling In Bengal, BJP Candidate Dilip Ghosh Heckled


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Kolkata [Calcutta], India

BJP's Bardhaman-Durgapur candidate Dilip Ghosh during his poll campaign for the Lok Sabha elections. (News18 File Photo)

BJP’s Bardhaman-Durgapur candidate Dilip Ghosh during his poll campaign for the Lok Sabha elections. (News18 File Photo)

As Ghosh was on his way, TMC supporters blocked his convoy and squatted in front of his vehicle, starting a protest against him

Scattered incidents of violence marred the fourth phase of Lok Sabha polls in the eight parliamentary constituencies of West Bengal on Monday as TMC and BJP workers clashed in various parts of violence-hit Birbhum and Bardhaman-Durgapur seats.

Although the poll panel claimed that voting has been peaceful so far, it said it had received 1,700 complaints till 1 pm from different political parties alleging EVM malfunctioning and agents being stopped from entering booths. Clashes broke out between supporters of TMC and BJP in Monteswar’s Susunia area of Bardhaman-Durgapur Lok Sabha seat around noon, as BJP candidate Dilip Ghosh was on his way to a polling booth following complaints of booth jamming.

As Ghosh was on his way, TMC supporters blocked his convoy and squatted in front of his vehicle, starting a protest against him. Stones were hurled at his convoy, following which some of the cars of the security personnel tailing his convoy were damaged. Ghosh was also heckled by the TMC activists, sources claimed.

“Police are just mute spectators. The TMC has let loose a reign of terror. Since morning, TMC goons have beaten up our polling agents and are not allowing polling to be free and fair,” Ghosh told reporters. Ghosh’s convoy was again attacked at Kalna gate in Bardhaman-Durgapur constituency. Ghosh said he had gone to a booth there following allegations of TMC not allowing BJP’s booth agents.

Bricks were pelted at his convoy leading to serious injury of central police personnel deployed in his security, sources claimed. “This is for the second time that my convoy was attacked today. Two of my security personnel were injured and had to be taken to hospital for treatment,” Ghosh said.

The TMC, however, denied the charges and claimed Ghosh was ”trying to vitiate the atmosphere sensing defeat.” In Durgapur area of the same constituency, clashes broke out between the TMC and the BJP, following which saffron activists staged a sit-in. In Birbhum Lok Sabha constituency, BJP workers clashed with TMC activists in Nanoor after saffron party polling agents were allegedly stopped from entering booths.

The BJP alleged that their polling agents were forcibly ousted from a booth by Trinamool Congress members besides intimidating voters. Tension prevailed in Chapra area of Krishnanagar constituency as BJP workers were allegedly beaten by TMC workers. Amrita Roy, BJP candidate of Krishnanagar, accompanied two injured persons, Nanda Das and Sukhen Das, to Chapra police station. The TMC has denied the allegations.

The TMC, BJP, and Congress-CPI (M) alliance lodged complaints respectively related to poll violence, voter intimidation, and assaults on poll agents in the first few hours of polling, sources from both parties said. In some areas of Birbhum, TMC workers staged a protest following allegations that central forces were assisting BJP workers in intimidating voters.

In Burdwan area in Baharampur Lok Sabha constituency of Murshidabad district, clashes between Trinamool Congress and Congress workers were reported, with state Congress president and sitting MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury saying despite efforts by ruling party members to create trouble, prompt intervention from the CEO’s office resulted in swift action by central forces.

Protests were witnessed in Chakdaha area of Ranaghat constituency as BJP MP and candidate Jagganath Sarkar faced protests by locals, who claimed that the MP was ”nowhere to be seen in the last five years.” ”He was nowhere to be seen in the last five years. Now as elections are on, he is here. That is why we are shouting go-back slogans. As we don’t want him here,” a protestor said.

Sarkar, however, denied the allegations and dubbed the protests as handiwork of the TMC. A voter turnout of 66.05 per cent was registered in eight Lok Sabha constituencies of West Bengal till 3pm, an Election Commission official said.

Explore in-depth coverage of voting in Telangana , Odisha , and Andhra Pradesh during Lok Sabha Election 2024 Phase 4 polling.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)



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