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Violence Mars Civic Polls in Bengal; Opposition Complains of Rigging
Masked men terrorising opposition party supporters in West Bengal.(Photo: News18)
Kolkata: Sporadic violence, including gunfight and explosions, marred the civic polls in three municipalities out of seven in West Bengal on Sunday.
In Pujali, BJP complained of massive electoral malpractices, booth capturing and rigging by the TMC.
All opposition parties, including BJP, CPI-M and Congress, have alleged widespread violence and booth-capturing by Trinamool Congress workers. They have demanded re-polling of elections in Pujali, Raigunj and in Domkal.
Addressing the media, CPI-M state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra, said,"The ruling party has unleashed terror in most of the municipal seats. Such violence in civic polls was never seen before. TMC goons were seen roaming freely – unchallenged - with crude bombs and firearms. We want the elections to be countermanded."
"Three of our supporters were injured in firing by miscreants at Pujali. We want that stern action be taken against the miscreants," he added.
Speaking to News18, BJP state secretary, Sayantan Basu said, "It is unfortunate that the local administration has failed to control the law and order situation in these areas. Trinamool goons were seen threatening our supporters with fire arms and chopper in their hands. In some places voting was going poeacefully but goons backed by TMC hurled crude bombs to terrorise our voters."
"It is unfortunate the even journalists were not spared and beaten up mercilessly," he said.
TMC general secretary Partha Chatterjee rubbished all allegations and said, "It is a desperate attempt by the BJP and Congress to win the civic polls. In most of the places BJP-Congress goons were involved in violence and we want stern action against them."
In Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Mirik and Kurseong the polling has been more or less peaceful. BJP has not fielded any candidate in the Hills because of their alliance with the GJM.
Till 5 PM, polling pecentages (in all the 148 wards) at Darjeeling, Kurseong, Mirik, Kalimpong, Raigunj, Domkal and Pujali were reported at 49.4%, 59.8%, 71.6%, 54.4%, 62.2%, 74.1% and 78.0% respectively.
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