In a blow to Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, the BJP on Sunday won a cooperative body election in Nandigram, Purba Medinipur district of West Bengal, a constituency of the Leader of the Opposition, Suvendu Adhikari. The saffron party won 11 of the 12 seats in the Bhekutia Samabay Krishi Samity, which had previously been led by the TMC.
According to a district official, the TMC won only one seat
Meanwhile, Sunday’s election to the cooperative body was marred by clashes between the two parties. A winning BJP candidate claimed that the TMC attempted to disrupt the election by bringing in outsiders, but ordinary voters foiled their plan.
A local panchayat samity member, who did not want to be identified but said he was a TMC member, was seen being manhandled by some women, who tore his shirt, according to TV news channels. Personnel from the Nandigram police station rescued him.
When contacted by PTI, a TMC spokesperson refused to comment on either the cooperative election or the incident. Adhikari defeated Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the 2021 state election in Nandigram.
However, the parties accused each other of fake voting. “We sought a free and fair polls. But the villagers protested when they found BJP trying to rig polls with the help of outsiders," Nandigram TMC block president Bappaditya Kar was quoted as saying by Deccan Chronicle.
Proloy Pal, vice president of the BJP East Midnapore district, denied his charges. “Their allegations are without merit. They lose in places where people can freely vote. This also occurred in Bhekutia. The TMC attempted, but failed, to win the election with the assistance of the police," he said, according to the report.
With inputs from PTI