The Telegraph
Thursday , May 1 , 2014
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Big boys who swung polls in Burdwan

Burdwan, April 30: They are Trinamul’s big boys and they worked tirelessly to allegedly swing the polls in the party’s favour in the Burdwan-Durgapur seat.

The Burdwan CPM alleged that Trinamul workers instructed by minister and party president Swapan Debnath captured booths and threatened voters.

Debnath, who had been monitoring polling from a Trinamul party office in Kalna town and shouting out instructions over the phone through the day, denied the charges.

“We don’t need to rig votes. People are with us like always. The CPM knows it won’t win,” said the minister, who had recently instructed Trinamul workers to “go and capture” booths if need be.

District CPM secretary Amal Haldar alleged: “Central forces were not deployed in many booths, where Trinamul workers threatened people to vote for the party. Swapan Debnath played the key role behind the rigging. We have lodged a complaint with the district magistrate.”

Saidul Haque, the CPM candidate for the Burdwan-Durgapur Lok Sabha seat, sat on a dharna for two-and-a-half hours outside the district magistrate’s office, demanding central forces in each booth.

In Durgapur, the CPM accused Trinamul councillor Chandan Saha and his followers of capturing booths in ward no. 21, where central forces were not seen.

Saha, accused of beating up BJP and CPM workers during election campaigns, denied the charge. Through the day, he stayed busy at his office on 54 Feet Road in the town to oversee polling.

Burdwan district magistrate Saumitra Mohan said polling was “peaceful”.

“We have examined the complaints lodged by the CPM. Nothing was found,” Mohan told a news conference.