West Bengal: Widespread violence was seen during the sixth phase of polling in West Bengal.
Different polling booths turned into battlefields in North 24 Parganas after the cadres of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) clashed against each other.
At Khardah, Barrackpore and Halisahar incidents of bombings were also seen.
BJP candidate Shubrangshu Roy while visiting booths was gheraoed by the TMC supporters and was abused.
Talking to Free Press Journal, Subhrangshu said that the TMC cadres were not allowed to vote for which he had to visit the booth.
BJP MP Arjun Singh claimed that TMC had broken even his party office and hurled bombs at Barrackpore.
“Several bombs were hurled even at Barrackpore and stones were pelted on BJP supporters,” said Singh.
In the Titagarh area of Barrackpore constituency, clashes broke out between the TMC and the BJP supporters, following which bombs were hurled at each other, leading to severe injuries to five BJP activists.
Film director-turned-TMC candidate Raj Chakraborty was gheraoed in the Barrackpore constituency by BJP supporters, who accused him of influencing voters.
Notably, the Election Commission had marked Barrackpore constituency as ‘sensitive’ and had deployed 10,000 central forces in Barrackpore.
At Halisahar alleged TMC goons looted the house of a BJP supporter and had also beat up his aged mother and assaulted his wife.
“The TMC cadres since Wednesday night had asked us not to go out to vote. But since we have gone out to vote they have hit my mother and me and have assaulted my wife,” claimed the BJP leader.
At a time when West Bengal politics reached a new height after CISF had resorted to firing at fourth phase of polling in Cooch Behar’s Sitalkuchi area that had claimed four lives, even during sixth phase firing was seen at Bagda but this time it was West Bengal police.
According to locals, three people were injured after West Bengal police had opened fire.
“The TMC is instrumental in this firing. The voting was going on peacefully but Mojibur and Tapan TMC supporters were instrumental in the firing,” said the wife of an injured person.
TMC minister Jyotipriyo Mullick was also seen engaged in a verbal brawl with Central forces at Habra.
According to the TMC minister and candidate the saffron camp with the help of the central forces was giving false votes.
Meanwhile, the TMC alleged that two activists were injured in firing allegedly by the central forces outside booth number 79 in Ashoknagar’s Tangra area after a few party members protested against BJP candidate Tanuja Chakraborty’s visit to the area.
On the contrary BJP’s Tanuja claimed that on her visit the TMC had purposely pelted stones at her car to restrict her visit to other booths.
However, the office of the chief electoral officer has sought a report on the incident from the local administration.
Chief Electoral Officer of West Bengal Ariz Aftab said that according to the reports the police had opened fire as there was an illegal assembly at Bagda.
Incidentally, amidst violence, the total turnout in the sixth phase of polling till 5 pm was recorded at 79.08 percent. In Nadia, the turnout was recorded at Nadia 82.70 percent, in North 24 Parganas it was 76.19 percent, in East Burdwan the total turnout was 82.13 percent and in North Dinajpur, the total turnout was 77.90 percent.