Elections 2021

Stray violence marks sixth phase of Bengal polls

PTI Kolkata | Updated on April 22, 2021

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee -

37.27 per cent turnout was recorded till 11 am in the elections to 43 assembly seats

Stray incidents of violence were on Thursday reported from various parts of Bengal where voting is underway in the sixth phase of assembly elections, but the overall poll situation was largely peaceful with 37.27 per cent turnout recorded till 11 am, an EC official said.

Elections, which began at 7 am, are being held in 43 assembly seats -- 17 in North 24 Parganas district, nine each in Nadia and Uttar Dinajpur, and eight in Purba Bardhaman.

Long queues were seen outside most of the polling booths with security personnel asking everyone to adhere to Covid-19 safety protocols, amid the surge in infections everywhere, the official said.

In Uttar Dinajpur's Chopra area, shots were reportedly fired after clashes broke out between activists of the TMC and the BJP over allegations of heckling by agents of a polling booth. Both the parties denied having used any firearm and blamed the Opposition for the violence.

The office of the CEO has sought a report on the incident from the local administration.

In Raiganj, sources in the TMC said one of the ruling party activists sustained serious injuries after he was allegedly stabbed by BJP workers. The saffron party, however, denied the allegations.

Sporadic violence was also reported from Bijpur constituency in North 24 Parganas, where TMC and BJP supporters clashed with each other outside polling booths.

Both the parties accused each other of trying to rig votes. Two supporters of the TMC and three of the BJP were reportedly injured in the clashes.

A huge contingent of security forces was rushed to the troubled areas to control the situation.

 

In the Halisahar area of Naihati constituency, the saffron party alleged that bombs were hurled at the residence of a local BJP leader. His mother and younger brother are known to have suffered injuries. The TMC and the BJP traded charges against each other.

Film director-turned-TMC candidate Raj Chakraborty was gheraoed in Barrackpore constituency by BJP supporters, who accused him of influencing voters. Chakraborty denied the allegations.

In Amdanga constituency, country-made crude bombs were recovered by police personnel.

Over 1.03 crore voters are set to decide the political fate of 306 candidates in this phase.

 

As many as 1,071 companies of central forces have been deployed to ensure free and fair polling, officials said.

The voting exercise is underway in 14,480 polling stations of the 43 assembly segments.

 

Published on April 22, 2021

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