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Rigging fear

Balurghat, April 23: The BJP today said it had requested the Election Commission to deploy central forces at all booths in four Assembly constituencies under the Balurghat Lok Sabha seat as voting was likely to be rigged by the Trinamul Congress.

Biswapriya Roychaudhury, the BJP candidate for Balurghat, told a press conference here today that “the ruling party is planning to capture booths in four Assembly constituencies, Harirampur, Gangarampur, Itahar and Tapan, which fall under the Balurghat Lok Sabha seat”. “Leaders of the ruling party have understood that people are not supporting them and were so panicky that the chief minister had to organise three rallies in Balurghat. Yet, Trinamul is not confident of a win and is terrorising our supporters,” said Roychaudhury.

The Balurghat seat has 1,487 booths with 12,53,543 voters. Arpita Ghosh is Trinamul’s candidate in Balurghat.

The BJP South Dinajpur district president and Roychaudhury’s election agent, Gautam Chakrabarty, said: “We have approached the chief electoral officer and the special observer of the Election Commission for Bengal, Sudhir Kumar Rakesh, seeking deployment of central forces at all booths in the four Assembly seats in Balurghat to ensure free and fair polls.”

The CPM also alleged a plot by Trinamul to rig the voting. “We have got information that cadres of the ruling party have conspired to rig voting at many booths in Kumarganj. We have demanded the deployment of central forces at all booths in the Balurghat Lok Sabha seat,” said Moffajjan Hossen, the district committee member of the CPM.

Trinamul district general secretary Prabir Roy said rival parties were raising baseless allegations because they were sensing a defeat in Balurghat. “The charges levelled by the Opposition are baseless. They know they won’t win in Balurghat and that is why they are alleging that Trinamul will sabotage the elections.”