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MARK ‘MAGIC’

P.C. Sorcar Jr made the indelible ink “vanish” within minutes of voting on Monday.

Sorcar (in pictures) raised his inked index finger outside the Satyabhama Institution for Boys in Ballygunge, where he cast his ballot not far from his south Calcutta home, covered it for a few seconds with the other palm, muttered a spell and revealed a clean finger. A repeat of the exercise and the mark was back!

Later, the magician, who is contesting on a BJP ticket from Barasat, cast a spell wherever he went in his constituency. Many polling agents of rival parties were seen requesting him for a trick or two.

But the routine snapped at two polling stations in Salt Lake, part of the Barasat seat, where Sorcar ran into angry Trinamul councillors.

At St. Francis Xavier School, opposite Hyatt Regency, councillor Minu Chakraborty and her supporters raised a ruckus as soon as the magician walked in and demanded that he be thrown out.

Candidate kyano dhukechhey? Okey ber kore din (Why has the candidate gone in? Get him out),” Chakraborty protested to the cops outside.

Nothing could pacify the Trinamul councillor and make her see reason. Neither citing the election manual, which allows candidates to walk into any polling booth in their constituency, nor a reminder that her own party’s candidates elsewhere were making similar visits.

Soon, an altercation broke out between the Trinamul supporters and BJP activists accompanying Sorcar, after which the magician came out on his own and left.

The scenes were replayed at a school in BK Block, Sorcar’s next stop. There, Krishna Chakraborty, the chairperson of the Trinamul-run Bidhannagar Municipality, objected to the number of supporters with Sorcar as well as the cars in his cavalcade.

According to election rules, candidates can visit booths but must be accompanied only by their election agents. They can use three cars, for themselves and supporters. “We will lodge a complaint with the Election Commission,” Chakraborty screamed as Sorcar left, trailed by journalists.

The experience upset Sorcar so much that he did not get out of his car at his next and last stop in Salt Lake. “I had expected a decent ambience in Salt Lake,” Sorcar said, shaking his head in dismay as he left for his election office in Madhyamgram around 1pm