North 24 Parganas (West Bengal): Chaos ensued in the Panihati assembly of North 24 Parganas district, a day after the fifth phase of the West Bengal Assembly elections concluded, when unknown miscreants hurled bombs near a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) camp office on Sunday.
The miscreants arrived on bikes in front of the BJP camp office on BT Road, Sodepur Swadeshi Chowk, and hurled five bombs. However, one bomb did not explode and was recovered by the Khardaha police.
Later, the miscreants hurled two more bombs. The BJP alleged that the attacks were carried out by workers of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC). Outraged BJP workers then allegedly vandalised the TMC office.
Speaking to ANI, Panihati BJP candidate Sanmoy Bandyopadhyay said: "How are they running the state? They have realised that they are losing the elections, as a result, such incidents are happening. Today, bombs were hurled at the homes of BJP workers in front of the police. They hurled five bombs, out of which four exploded. At 11:30 pm, they hurled 2-4 bombs again and the police just stood there."
"They have realised that thousands of people are now supporting BJP and their defeat in the elections is inevitable," he added Bandyopadhyay further accused TMC counsellor Jayanta Das of threatening people inside polling booths and assaulting others outside, while Khardaha police station took no action. He also alleged that the man responsible for running Khardaha PS was a criminal.
On the other hand, TMC ex-councillor Samrat Chakraborty blamed Bandyopadhyay for instigating the attacks, asserting that TMC's Panihati candidate Nirmal Ghosh's victory was confirmed.
"BJP's Sanmoy Bandyopadhyay hurled bombs yesterday at Rajarhat through his men. He is trying to create unrest in a peaceful election process. I have repeatedly said that giving even a single vote for BJP means deproiving Bengal from peace. Nirmal Ghosh's victory is confirmed," he said.
Chakraborty also warned BJP workers that the administration will take suitable action.
The TMC alleged that BJP workers vandalized various shops and set up a temporary traffic kiosk camp at the Barakpur Police Commissionerate on the road, following which the BJP held an agitation and blocked the BT Road.
A large police force later arrived at the spot and the blockade was lifted after the police assured that miscreants will be assrested soon. However, soon after the blockade was lifted, six unidentified miscreants attacked BJP youth leader Joy Saha and hurled bombs outside his house.
West Bengal saw 78.36 per cent voter turnout till 6.30 pm in the fifth phase of the assembly election on Saturday. Chief Electoral Officer Ariz Aftab said that the polling "was held peacefully" in 15,789 polling stations spread across 45 assembly constituencies.
The voting for the sixth phase will be held on April 22, wherein 306 candidates will contest for 43 constituencies across four districts.