Nandigram: The high-profile assembly seat of Nandigram was under the close watch of the Election Commission (EC) as there was an apprehension about conduction of peaceful voting. But Nandigram witnessed a violence-free polling in the second phase of the West Bengal Assembly Election on Thursday.
The voters of Nandigram are happy with the arrangements made by the Election Commission for a smooth polling process in the constituency. Starting from deployment of the central paramilitary forces to surveillance with drones—multiple measures were taken by the EC to ensure a free and fair poll in Nandigram.
All the polling booths in Nandigram were declared sensitive by the EC. The areas of Sonachura, Bhangabera, Garchakraberia were under close watch of the commission due to the high occurrence of violent clashes during the election campaigning. The voting on Thursday ended peacefully in these areas.
The EC had deployed 22 companies in 355 booths in Nandigram and kept six more companies in reserve for fear of unrest.
While the Trinamool Congress complained about sporadic incidents of violence in some areas, the BJP did not make any complaints about violence in Nandigram. Trinamool Congress alleged that BJP tried to influence the voters. The party reported to the Election Commission that some polling booths were captured by the BJP workers.
Tension was high in Nandigram since Thursday morning over the face-off between high profile candidates, Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee and Suvendu Adhikari.
The Election Commission had deployed 22 companies of Central paramilitary forces for 355 polling booths and 6 more troops were on standby for any emergency situation. Eight paramilitary personnel were deployed at each booth.
However, the people of Nandigram have expressed their gratitude to the Commission for enabling them to vote in the constituency without fear after a gap of many years. One villager from Sonachura said to the media that the Election Commission provided them immense support by appointing central forces since the beginning of the election process.
Though, Garchakraberia on this day showed their protest against the central forces. They told that central forces were paying no sincerity towards political hooliganism in the area. As a result, they blocked the road to show their agitation. Only after getting convinced by the police, they withdrew their protest.
The villagers in the Chakraberia area had blocked the road for a while in protest against the central forces. Later, however, the villagers ended the blockade on the assurance of the police force for a free and fair poll. The QRT team had kept watch on the situation in the area and a high-ranking CRPF official patrolled the several parts of Nandigram to avoid any untoward situation during the polling.