As the voting for the first phase of the West Bengal elections began this morning for 30 seats today, around 54.90 percent of voters had turned out to vote till 2 pm. Since the beginning of the voting today morning, the Bharatiya Janta Party and Trinamool Congress have been playing blame games over each other. Issues pertaining over Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) and polling booths have been prominent during the voting phase in the state.
Sisir Adhikari who recently joined BJP in the West Bengal, has said that we will take the help of more Central forces at polling booths from now only ahead of second phase of elections.
The second phases of elections is scheduled to take place on April 1 in Nandigram.
EVM discripancies have been a common issue during the polling in West Bengal. Earlier in the day, Sisir Adhikari's son leader Suvendu Adhikari today wrote to the Election Commission (EC) seeking suspension of some police officials in Haldia and Nandigram for allegedly helping the Trinamool Congress (TMC) carry out malpractices and irregularities during the first phase of West Bengal assembly elections.
Suvendu has urged the suspension of Haldia Additional Superintendent of Police (SP), Sub Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Barunbaidya and some other officers of Nandigram police station. Meanwhile, polling for the first of the eight-phased assembly polls in West Bengal is underway in 30 constituencies. The polling will conclude at 6:30 pm.
Suvendu's brother, Soumendu Adhikari earlier today alleged that people were being stopped from voting at a polling centre in Contai. "Voters being influenced and stopped from voting at booth number 149. Overall polling is being held peacefully. EVMs are malfunctioning at some locations; it happens in all polls, the EC is looking into it," Soumendu told ANI.
The BJP leader said there should be free and fair polls and they have approached the Election Commission. "We approached the EC that there should be free and fair polls. People will choose whom they want. TMC is scared," Adhikari said. During the run-up to the elections, the BJP and TMC have locked horns over a number of issues, with intensive campaigning and sloganeering seeking to outdo the other in the high-stakes assembly polls.
Suvendu, arguably the BJP's most important candidate, has launched a tirade of attacks against West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, after his decision of leaving TMC to join the BJP in December last year.