Kolkata: Streets wore a deserted look as public transport were mostly off the roads and shops and markets remained closed in the metropolis during the third phase of the assembly elections here and in the two adjoining districts on Wednesday.
Party flags and buntings and the flurry of activity were absent this time in contrast to past elections with queues before polling booths the only indication that polling was in progress.
Central forces were present in strength, while the police did not allow even roadside shops and eateries to open. While almost 80 per cent of buses and taxis requisitioned for election duty, the rest also remained off the roads.
Children taking advantage of the deserted streets and lack of transport played cricket on the streets.
The reporter and photographer of a Bengali daily alleged that they were pushed around and slapped by CPM supporters at Mahamaya Pathsala at Gangulybagan in the Jadavpur constituency, from where Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee is contesting.
They said that they had lodged a complaint with the police at the Jadavpur police station.
The chief minister's election agent Bikash Bhattacharya denied that they were heckled or beaten up. "Nothing of that sort happened. The allegations are not true."