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How peaceful were elections
- Several incidents of alleged electoral malpractice took place in the six constituencies that voted on Wednesday in the fourth Lok Sabha poll phase in Bengal. The Telegraph lists some

Seat: Asansol (Burdwan)

Booth capture

Jamuria: 12 booths

l What happened: CPM agents allegedly chased out of the booths. One CPM agent allegedly kidnapped and is yet to be traced. Voters intimidated in absence of CPM agents.

Raniganj: 4 booths

What happened: CPM agents allegedly chased out of booths as soon as polling started. In one booth, BJP agents were also chased out.

Hirapur: 2 booths

What happened: BJP agents allegedly forced to leave booths and prevented from entering when they tried to after 2 hours.

Allegations made by: Gauranga Chatterjee, Burdwan CPM leader and S.N. Lamba of the BJP.

“Trinamul tried to loot votes in areas where they apprehended people would vote against them. We had informed the district administration that the ruling party could resort to electoral malpractice in these booths, but nothing was done,” Chatterjee said.

Lamba said: “The ruling party looted votes and intimidated voters after chasing away our agents.”

Trinamul’s reaction: V. Shivadasan, Trinamul organising secretary in Asansol, denied the charges. “Voting was peaceful, fair and free. All allegations are fabricated,” he said.

Assault

Place: Pandaveswar

l What happened: Monda Baidyakar, a 24-year-old physically challenged woman, allegedly beaten up by Trinamul workers after she cast her vote.

Place: Kaliganj

l What happened: CPM agent Jagannath Yadav allegedly beaten up by suspected Trinamul goons on Tuesday night. He is in hospital.

Place: Bonogram

l What happened: CPM supporters beaten up allegedly by Trinamul workers and prevented from going to booths. Police rescued the voters.

Allegations made by: Gouranga Chatterjee, district CPM leader.

“Many of our supporters were beaten up mercilessly by Trinamul as they apprehend that people’s mandate would go against them,” he said.

Trinamul’s reaction: Shivadasan said: “The entire voting process was peaceful in Asansol. We have no link with any such incidents.”

Seat: Bishnupur (Bankura)

Booth capture

Sonamukhi: 14 booths

What happened: CPM agents allegedly forced to leave booths between 8.45am and 10am by suspected Trinamul workers. Voters allegedly intimidated so that they voted Trinamul.

Kotulpur: 11 booths

l What happened: CPM agents chased out of booths before 9am by suspected Trinamul workers who had a free run throughout the day.

Bishnupur: 11 booths

What happened: Suspected Trinamul workers overpowered CPM booth agents, chased them away and resorted to false voting.

Khandaghosh: 2 booths

l What happened: CPM agents allegedly ordered to leave booths around 11.10am by suspected Trinamul workers, who resorted to false voting. CPM agents tried to re-enter booths after an hour but their attempts were thwarted.

Allegations made by: Amiya Patra, CPM Bankura secretary.

“We had informed the district authorities and the Election Commission about the vulnerability of the booths. But nothing was done,” he said.

Trinamul’s reaction: Arup Khan, Trinamul district president, denied the charges. “Polls were free and fair. The party (CPM) has lost its base and is trying to save its face by levelling false charges of rigging,” he said.

Assault

Place: Indus

What happened: Noor Alam, a CPM polling agent (booth No. 122), beaten up allegedly by Trinamul workers. He is in hospital.

Place: Bishnupur

What happened: CPM worker Naru Lohar allegedly beaten up by Trinamul-backed goons.

Place: Khandagosh

What happened: 10 CPM and Trinamul supporters injured in a clash over seating arrangement of agents inside a booth. All in hospital.

Place: Khandaghosh

What happened: CPM leader Nepal Majhi attacked by suspected Trinamul workers when he was going to vote. Admitted to Burdwan Medical College Hospital.

Allegation made by: Patra, CPM district secretary.

“Trinamul tried to rig polls everywhere. Wherever they faced protests, they beat up CPM workers. The police did nothing,” he said.

Trinamul’s reaction: Trinamul’s Khan said: “Charges levelled against us are fabricated. CPM resorted to violence.”

Seat: Bankura

Booth Capture

Ranibandh: 1 booth

l What happened: CPM agent forced to leave booth and voters intimidated.

Saltora: 3 booths

What happened: CPM agents chased away. Suspected Trinamul workers threatened people to cast votes in party’s favour.

Taldangra: 3 booths

l What happened: Authorisation letters of CPM agents (required to enter a booth) snatched by suspected Trinamul workers on Tuesday night. Trinamul workers allegedly manipulated voting process.

Allegations made by: Patra, CPM district secretary.

“The ruling party left no stone unturned to rig the polls. They chased away our agents and prevented them from re-entering booths. False votes were cast,” he said.

Trinamul’s reaction: “We do not require to rig polls as people have faith in Mamata Banerjee,” Khan said.

Seat: Jhargram

Booth capture

Gopiballavpur II: 3 booths

l What happened: Trinamul men allegedly forced out Left poll agents from booths around noon and cast false votes for about an hour.

Garbeta: 65 booths

l What happened: Trinamul activists allegedly barged into booths, threatened CPM agents and kept them away from poll premises for two-and-a-half hours.

Chandrakona: 30 booths

l What happened: Large-scale false voting went on for nearly two hours. In some booths, false votes were cast in presence of Left agents, who initially protested but were threatened by suspected Trinamul activists.

Salboni: 20 booths

l What happened: CPM agents had been warned since Tuesday against entering poll premises. Many were ousted from booths by suspected Trinamul activists and false votes were cast.

Allegations made by: Pulin Behari Baskey, CPM’s Jhargram candidate. “The polls were heavily rigged by Trinamul in several booths,” he said.

Trinamul’s reaction: “CPM’s allegations are unfounded. They didn’t have adequate cadres to sit in booths in Jhargram,” Trinamul’s West Midnapore president Dinen Roy said.

Seat: Midnapore

Booth capture

Midnapore: 6 booths

l What happened: Trinamul activists allegedly intimidated Left agents in booths. Within three hours of commencement of polling, Opposition agents were driven out. Suspected Trinamul workers resorted to rigging

Narayangarh: 5 booths

l What happened: Suspected Trinamul activists tried to capture as many booths as they could throughout the day, but Left cadres “put up a brave front”. Five CPM agents in Surjya Kanta Mishra’s Assembly constituency allegedly forced out of poll premises.

Dantan: 6 booths

l What happened: Booths surrounding by suspected Trinamul men. Many were armed with sticks. Central forces did little to disperse Trinamul activists.

Kharagpur: 3 booths

l What happened: Around 1pm, Trinamul activists allegedly took control of booths, evicting Opposition agents. Polling continued in Opposition’s absence and hundreds of false votes cast in each booth.

Keshiary: 3 booths

What happened: Police were hardly visible around booths. Trinamul allegedly rigged polls.

Allegation made by: Midnapore CPI candidate Prabodh Panda. “I visited many of these places after getting reports of rigging. But by the time I reached, the ruling party had captured many of the booths,” he said.

Trinamul reaction: “Polls were peaceful in Midnapore. There was no untoward incident. The Left’s organisation is crumbling in this constituency. That’s why it’s claiming that elections were rigged, which is untrue,” West Midnapore district president Dinen Roy said.