New Delhi, Apr 1 (FN Agency) The polling percentage in 30 Assembly seats of West Bengal and 39 of Assam, which went for polls on Thursday in the second phase of voting, was recorded 62.61 and 59.92 per cent respectively at 1500 hrs. In Bengal, polling began at 0700 hrs amid COVID-19 guidelines in place in nine seats of Paschim Medinipur, eight in Bankura, four seats in South 24 Parganas and nine seats in Purba Medinipur. Polling was also underway at Nandigram constituency of Purba Medinipur district where Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is contesting against former party colleague-turned-rival Suvendu Adhikari, who had joined the Bharatiya Janata Party before the polls.
However, several reports of sporadic violence have surfaced in Bengal. Trinamool Congress (TMC) Rajya Sabha MP Derek O Brien wrote to the Election Commission alleging booth capturing by the BJP workers in Nandigram Assembly constituency. “Huge mob of BJP workers entered several booths, and attempted to take control of EVM & rigging the booth,” he alleged. TMC Lok Sabha MP Mahua Moitra alleged that over 150 Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) are malfunctioning since morning. “Wish @ECISVEEP had put half as much effort into ensuring no EVM glitches as it did into transferring police officials (sic),” Ms Moitra tweeted.
A woman polling agent of the BJP at booth number 173 in Keshpur was beaten up allegedly by the TMC workers, sources said. A local BJP leader Tanmay Ghosh’s car was vandalised by a mob in the Keshpur assembly constituency, they said. A vehicle of media personnel was attacked by a mob near booth number 170 in Kamalpur, Nandigram. A report from Keshpur said BJP candidate Pritish Ranjan Konar’s car was vandalised while the mediapersons on duty faced wrath of the alleged TMC supporters. Police have arrested nine suspects in the attack. In the Sobong assembly constituency, the BJP agent was evicted by the alleged TMC supporters. Later with the help of central armed forces, the agent returned to his polling booth. BJP candidate from Nandigram Suvendu Adhikari alleged that the TMC workers are indulging in violence and spreading hatred. “They work of Pakistanis, ‘Jay Bangla’ is a slogan from Bangladesh,” he alleged. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited a polling booth at Boyal in the Nandigram assembly segment where her election agent Mrinal Kanti Jana fled home fearing assault from alleged BJP supporters. The mother of the polling agent alleged that their kitchen room was vandalised by the BJP supporters two days ago and feared more torture in future in case he attends the booth. However,the BJP denied the allegation and said the ruling party was creating terror in the area and scaring the voters.
The BJP candidate Suvendu Adhikari was seen shuttling booth-to-booth of his constituency and claimed the free and fearless voting would not have been possible in the absence of central armed forces in the state. However, Assam, witnessed peacefull voting at 39 seats spread across 13 seats. People of Assam has shown red card to Congress and Mahajot. Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a rally at Kokrajhar and claimed that people of Assam has shown red card to Congress and ‘ Mahajot’. (Grand Alliance) “Football is very popular among the youth here. If I’ve to speak in their language, I would say that the people have yet again shown a Red Card to Congress and its Mahajot,” Mr Modi said while addressing an election rally at Bodo dominated Kokrajhar district in Assam.