Kolkata: West Bengal’s opposition Left Front Thursday accused the ruling Trinamool Congress of capturing nearly 150 polling booths during the first phase of Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal.
It also thanked the Election Commission for taking steps after receiving complaints of electoral malpractices.
Addressing media persons, Left Front major Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) state secretariat member Rabin Deb said elements backed by the ruling party created trouble across all the nine assembly segments in Cooch Behar district. Seven of the segments come under the Cooch Behar Lok Sabha seat and two under Alipurduar.
“The miscreants owing allegiance to the Trinamool captured 147 polling booths in Cooch Behar district – 92 of them are under Cooch Behar constituency and 55 under Alipurduar,” said Deb.
The assembly segments of Sitalkuchi, Natabari and Cooch Behar South and Tufanganj in Cooch Behar district as seeing the worst of the “violence sponsored by the Trinamool”, he said.
But he said the Election Commission took action after receiving the allegations in various areas. Asked whether the Left Front would seek a repoll, Deb said the district committee of the combine would discuss the issue and then decide.
He said two CPI-M activists were injured – one in Rajganj of Jalpaiguri district and another in Tufanganj of Cooch Behar. They were taken to hospital. 15 others suffered minor injuries in Rajganj.
The CPI-M leader said the Trinamool Congress tried to “loot votes” the way it did in the statewide rural polls last year. “But the Election Commission took action after receiving the allegations in various areas. As a result, in some of the trouble spots some semblance of discipline was restored later in the day.”
He, however, said the EC delayed in taking some of the measures like the appointment of the special observer to oversee the polling.
Regarding the deployment of central paramilitary troopers, Deb said: “In the early part of the day, they were inactive in some of the areas. But after we complained they were pressed into service.”