With counting of votes underway, tension appear to be running high in West Bengal. Much like the multi-phased elections, violence and vandalism continues to be the theme of the day, with a BJP office in the Arambagh area being set ablaze on Sunday evening. Reports indicate that violence has broken out in parts of the state, with allegations and counter allegations being bandied about.
Even as the Trinamool Congress celebrated their impending victory, news reports indicate that there is now violent incidents being reported from Kolkata and other parts of the state. While the BJP appears to be holding the TMC responsible, the party has denied the allegations.
Reacting to the news, BJP leader Sambit Patra has lashed out at the TMC, accusing goons affiliated with the party of attacking BJP workers and offices. "BJP office in Arambagh was set on fire by TMC goons. TMC workers attacked BJP workers in Belaghat, similar incidents happened in Shivpur, Durgapur, Uttar Bardhaman," he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Elsewhere, TMC supporters have come out in droves, with blatant disregard for the COVID-19 pandemic or the partial lockdown imposed in the state recently. Visuals shared online show a large number of people cheering and dancing on the streets. While some wave flags, others have painted themselves with the colours of the TMC's symbol. Others still can be seen holding bike rallies, marching with photos of Mamata Banerjee and more.
The Election Commission has taken a stern view of such proceedings, directing the heads of political parties to ban these celebrations. In an order that was shared on Twitter, the poll panel also reminded that it had previously passed orders prohibiting such events. "The Commission has further directed that the responsible SHO(s) and other officers must be placed under suspension immediately and criminal/disciplinary actions must be initiated against them," the notice added.