The seventh and last phase of Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal’s nine parliamentary constituencies saw sporadic outbreaks of violence, particularly in Jadavpur and Diamond Harbour, where TMC, ISF, and BJP supporters clashed.

Also Read: Lok Sabha Election Phase 7 Voting Live Updates: 32 % turnout in Himachal till 11 am

As reported by PTI, while election officials initially reported peaceful voting, they also acknowledged receiving 1,450 complaints by 11 am, mainly from political parties alleging EVM malfunctions and obstruction of agents from entering polling booths.

“Around 28.10 per cent of over 1.63 crore voters exercised their franchise in the first two hours of polling to the nine Lok Sabha seats,” an Election Commission official said.

Tensions escalated as clashes erupted between supporters of the TMC, ISF, and BJP across various regions of the state, stemming from disputes over preventing polling agents from accessing booths.

In Bhangar, located within the Jadavpur constituency, a confrontation ensued between Trinamool Congress and Indian Secular Front (ISF) supporters, with allegations of crude bombs being thrown from both factions.

Also Read: Mallikarjun Kharge reveals his choice for Prime Minister post if INDIA bloc comes to power

Protests erupted as police intervened, with both factions accusing each other of inciting the violence. Security personnel resorted to a lathi charge to disperse the crowd and restore order. During the intervention, several crude bombs were recovered from the scene.

Angry voters of Kultuli within Joynagar constituency took drastic measures by hurling electronic voting machines (EVMs) and Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VV-PAT) machines into nearby waterbodies. Their actions were fueled by feelings of electoral misconduct, reflecting their frustration over perceived voting restrictions.

“Today morning at 6.40 am Reserve EVMs & papers of Sector Officer near Benimadhavpur FP school, at 129-Kultali AC of 19-Jaynagar (SC) PC has been looted by local mob and 1 CU, 1 BU , 2VVPAT machines have been thrown inside a pond,” the office of CEO West Bengal posted on X.

“Sector Police was a little behind. FIR has been lodged by Sector Officer and necessary action has been initiated. Poll process in all six booths under the Sector is running uninterrupted. Fresh EVM and papers have been provided to the Sector Officer,” it further said.

PTI reported that TMC supporters have accused the ISF of orchestrating the violence to intimidate voters. Prompt action from local law enforcement led to lathi charges and the arrest of suspects in Polerhat area of Bhangar.

Another incident occurred where the vehicle of an ISF worker was vandalized in Baghajatin area. Accusations have been leveled against Trinamool Congress supporters for the alleged incident.

Also Read: Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah, DK Shivakumar granted bail in defamation case; details here

In Diamond Harbour, the pocket borough of TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee, who is also seeking re-election, witnessed clashes between TMC and BJP supporters as the saffron party candidate Abhijit Das alleged malpractices by the ruling party. The TMC, however, denied the allegations.

In Jadavpur area’s Ganguly Bagan, CPI(M) workers were allegedly beaten by the TMC activists and their camp offices were ransacked. The TMC, however, denied the allegations and accused the Left party of intimidating the voters.

The state Congress unit wrote to CEO Aariz Aftab requesting him to take stern action against alleged irregularities and rigging that are taking place in various pockets.

Also Read: West Bengal news: CM Mamata Banerjee dances on stage during Lok Sabha election rally | Watch

In the Bermajur area of Sandeshkhali, the BJP levelled accusations against TMC workers, alleging that they, along with police officers, intimidated BJP polling agents by visiting their residences on Friday night. Supported by video evidence, the party claimed that women in Sandeshkhali had voiced their dissatisfaction with the TMC government’s actions, portraying them as efforts to intimidate the population ahead of the final phase of elections.

(With inputs from PTI)

You are on Mint! India’s #1 news destination (Source: Press Gazette). To learn more about our business coverage and market insights Click Here!

Catch all the Politics News and Updates on Live Mint.
Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.


Published: 01 Jun 2024, 01:23 PM IST

Source link