2019 Lok Sabha poll diary: Complaints, violence fill the last phase of ballot battle in Bengal

Kolkata : With the BJP looking to capture the Trinamool Congress (TMC) citadel during the last phase of the just-concluded Lok Sabha polls, stray incidents of violence were reported from across several parts of the nine constituencies in West Bengal.

Significantly this is one of the few elections in Bengal where chief minister Mamata Banerjee complained and cried hoarse over of high handedness of central armed police force. Several TMC leaders including chief minister complained that central forces intimidated voters and asked them to vote for BJP .

After casting vote at Bhawanipore under Kolkata South Lok Sabha constituency, TMC chief Mamata Banerjee said, “ The torture that BJP workers and central forces have carried out today since morning is unprecedented. I have never seen anything like this before.”

Here is the tweet from All India Trinamool Congress

Nine LS constituencies and four Assembly constituencies voted on Sunday. The constituencies that voted yesterday are Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat , Jadavpur, Joynagar , Mathurapur , Diamond Harbour , Kolkata North and Kolkata South . Also, the Assembly constituencies that went into polls include Darjeeling , Islampur, Habibpur in North Bengal and Bhatpara in North 24 Pargana district.

Reports of stray violence and booth capturing, malfunctioning of EVMs, alleged intimidation by CPI(M) workers, BJP polling agents by TMC cadres flew in from several constituencies such as Jadavpur , Basirhat , Diamond Harbour , Mathurapur , since Sunday morning.

Incidents of violence were reported from Bhatpara Assembly under Barrackpore Lok Sabha constituency. A clash, allegedly broke out between BJP leader Arjun Singh and TMC candidate Madan Mitra at Kakinara in Bhatapara over reports of booth capturing . Sources also said that bombs were hurled during the voting and CRPF personnel had to be rushed to defuse the unrest. 

Sources also said that the police lathicharged the mob.  Allegations were also levelled against the BJP workers for setting a local TMC party office to fire. The EC has sought a report regarding  the violence. Chief Election Office (CEO) sources informed that they have received several reports of post-poll clash at Bhatapara.

With violence continuing in the state, Union Minister and BJP leader Nirmala Sitharaman said, “We have urged the EC to deploy Central forces even till the model code of conduct is in force as Banerjee had said she will avenge the BJP leaders inch.”

Here is the tweet of Nirmala Sitharaman

The BJP at Basirhat alleged that their agents have been driven out from three polling booths at Taki and four booths at Sandeshkhali. At Rajarhat, under Barasat Lok Sabha constituency, TMC candidate Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar complained that the Central security forces did not took any action against the BJP workers who allegedly caused ruckus in the area. 

Reports also came in that BJP candidate of Diamond Harbour, Nilanjan Roy’s car was vandalised by TMC workers. 

Series of letters sent by Trinamool Congress ahead of the last phase polls:

1) On Sunday, TMC leader Derek O’ Brien sent a letter to the EC complaining that the media coverage of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Kedarnath temple by national and local media is a gross violation of Model Code of Conduct (MCC). In the letter sent to EC, Brien mentioned that Kedarnath master plan is ready and also addressed the media.

2) On Saturday, TMC MP Abhisekh Bandhyopadhyay has sent a legal notice to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his derogatory comment of “Bua-Bhatija”(aunt-nephew government) operating in West Bengal and threw derogatory comments  at the Diamond Harbour rally on May 15. The notice that was sent by Bandhyopadhyay mentioned that Modi made some “unverified, “sensalitonist” and patently inaccurate comments.

3)TMC chief Mamata Banerjee wrote a letter to the chief election commissioner (CEC) on Saturday, urging them to conduct “free and fair” polls in the  last phase polls. In the letter that was sent by CM Mamata Banerjee to CEC Sunil Arora , she  mentioned that new Commissioner of police Rajesh Kumar who was appointed by Election Commission (EC) and  gave permission for the road show of BJP president Amit Shah in North Kolkata by withdrawing Section 144 in the area. The letter mentioned that the roadshow was a criminal conspiracy to vandalise the culture and heritage of Kolkata and West Bengal and also to defame the West Bengal government. 

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