Kolkata: Amidst sporadic violence during the second phase of polls where 30 constituencies went to polls, the second phase also saw huge turnout of voters.
With an average of 80 percent of overall turnout, the high octane Nandigram itself saw 81 percent turnout despite the violence. Till 5 pm the West Midnapore recorded 78 percent vote and East Midnapore 81 percent, South 24 Parganas records 80 percent and Bankura recorded 83 percent votes.
The day started smoothly with peaceful voting reported from all the booths of 30 constituencies, but as the day progressed, reports of violence started coming in from different poll-bound areas. Actor-turned politician and TMC’s candidate from Chandipur Soham Chakraborty’s car was attacked in Hooghly by alleged BJP cadres.
Stones were hurled at the car of BJP candidate from Nandigram Suvendu Adhikari by alleged by TMC goons in Ranichowk. Another BJP candidate from Debra, Bharati Ghosh’s car was also attacked. BJP candidate from Moyna, former team India cricketer Ashok Dinda’s car was also attacked when he was on his rounds of the constituency. The Trinamool Congress candidate from Debra, Humayun Kabir was also heckled and his passes were snatched away by alleged BJP supporters.
BJP leader Tanmoy Ghosh’s car was badly damaged in an attack on his convoy at Keshpur, while TMC candidate Shiuli Saha's polling agent Habibur Rahman was also attacked and received serious injuries.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is contesting from Nandigram, later in the day visited Boyal, within her constituency after reports came in that the polling agent at Booth 7, Bimal Kanti Jana was allegedly threatened by Bharatiya Janata Party supporters.
After getting assurance by special observer Nagendra Nath Tripathi the TMC supremo left the booth after almost two hours.
Claiming ECI to be working under instruction by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Mamata said that despite several appeals the ECI didn’t reply to the TMC’s pleas.
Meanwhile addressing a press conference TMC Rajya MP Derek o’ Brien said that the TMC delegation will meet Election Commission over the violence at Nandigram and other places during phase two of the polls.
“There have been some specific incidents that CM referred to, in her statement today about booths. We’ll consider taking the next step because we want to do this not for just winning Nandigram or West Bengal but we need to do it for keeping democracy in place. We know we’ll win both Nandigram and West Bengal. Even though we may win, we may still consider going to the Election Commission over the violence at few booths,” claimed Derek.
Meanwhile, calling it an overall ‘free and fair’ poll, BJP West Bengal observer Kailash Vijaywargiya praised the functioning of the central forces.
“The large turnout clearly shows that people want another change. With little violence at some places, the central forces did a good job to ensure a free and fair election,” mentioned Vijaywargiya.