At least three BJP candidates were attacked and sporadic incidents of violence marked the fifth phase of polling in West Bengal on Monday. The voter turnout stood at 74.06 per cent till 5.30 pm.

Seven seats — Howrah, Uluberia, Hooghly, Serampore, Arambagh, Barrackpore and Bongaon — went to polls.

All the seven seats are at present Trinamool (TMC) strongholds but the BJP, which has emerged as the principal challenger, is expecting a strong show in four seats — Barrackpore, Bongaon, Hooghly and Serampore. The party is banking primarily on TMC dissidents and its organisational strengths.

Widespread violence

Violence was reported from all these Lok Sabha seats.

The first incident of violence occurred at Barrackpore, where BJP candidate and local strongman Arjun Singh suffered injuries after being allegedly attacked by TMC workers.

Singh, a TMC dissident, who, miffed at not being given a party ticket, is taking on former Railway Minister and sitting TMC MP Dinesh Trivedi. In another incident reported from Barrackporeconstituency, Singh was allegedly chased away by TMC workers in Naihati, where he had gone to enquire about allegations of “outsiders” casting votes.

In Hooghly, the BJP candidate Locket Chatterjee was heckled and her car was vandalised allegedly by TMC workers in Dhanekhali. Chatterjee is taking on TMC’s Ratna De Nag.

In the border seat of Bongaon, a TMC worker suffered head injuries after miscreants hurled crude bombs in a place called Himli. While the BJP has been accused of perpetrating violence, the party has alleged their candidate Santanu Thakur was the targeted by the miscreants. Santanu is up against his aunt, Mamata Bala Thakur.

In the Serampur constituency, the BJP has alleged that its candidate Debajit Sarkar was “brutally attacked”. Sarkar is BJP’s youngest candidate in the State and is taking on Kalyan Banerjee of the TMC.

The BJP has alleged widespread violence in the fifth phase across “all the Lok Sabha constituencies”. There were “brutal attacks on BJP candidates”, “random bombing and arson”, “destruction of EVM”, it alleged in a letter to the Election Commission.