BDC members in Baghpat were seen guarded by bouncers during the block head elections on Saturday as they came to cast their votes. The BDC members supporting BJP-backed candidate Meenu came to vote by a luxury bus. On deboarding the bus, they entered the block guarded by a cordon of bouncers to the surprise of the rest of the people.
It was said that the BDC members were provided security to avoid any instances of ruckus and fights. Amid reprts of kidnapping and violence against the BDC members, the step was said to be taken to avoid any such untoward incident.
Out of six blocks of Baghpat, voting was underway for the election of block chief in three blocks on Saturday. Polling went on peacefully in Chhaprauli Baghpat and Pilana blocks. But the arrival of the BDC members shocked everyone.
Earlier on Thursday, there was a fight and uproar in Bijnor and Baghpat districts of western UP during the filing of nominations. In another instance, after the cancellation of the nomination, the Samajwadi Party supported candidate lied down in front of the magistrate’s car.
Further on the day of filing nominations for the Block Pramukh (chief) elections, Uttar Pradesh witnessed widespread violence including firing in at least 12 districts. However, police said there were relatively fewer incidents of violence this time around as compared to previous block chief elections. But in districts including Jhansi, Sitapur, Bijnor, Etawah, Kannauj and Bulandshahr, firing, clashes and savagery dominated the nomination day.
During the nomination process in Sitapur district, two groups engaged in firing and even threw hand bombs at each other. Police had to double down on reckless locals in Unnao, Ayodhya, Chitrakoot, Lalitpur, Kanpur rural, Ambedkarnagar and Azamgarh. Former assembly speaker Mataprasad Pandey was brushed up and his vehicle’s windshield was also damaged by miscreants. In Lakhimpur, a female candidate’s proposer was roughed up and her saree was pulled during the incident.
Samajwadi Party chief and former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav reacted sharply to the widespread violence and ruckus during the filing of nominations for the upcoming blockhead elections in Uttar Pradesh and had blamed the ruling BJP for violence and allegedly stopping SP candidates from filing their nominations.
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati had also expressed concern over the violence in the UP panchayat elections in the state. She had said that such incidents under the BJP government bring back memories of SP rule and has also said that this is the reason why her party was not participating in these elections. The former chief minister of the state had alleged a gross misuse of power and money by BJP during the election of district panchayat president and block chief nominations.