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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 12 June 2024

Scattered incidents of violence mar fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections in Bengal

Although the poll panel has claimed that the polling has been peaceful so far, it said it has received 1,036 complaints until 11 am from different political parties alleging EVM malfunctioning and agents being stopped from entering booths

PTI Calcutta Published 20.05.24, 12:54 PM
A BSF jawan stand guard as people wait in queues to cast their votes during the fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections, in Hooghly district, Monday, May 20, 2024.

A BSF jawan stand guard as people wait in queues to cast their votes during the fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections, in Hooghly district, Monday, May 20, 2024. PTI

Scattered incidents of violence marred the fifth phase of Lok Sabha polls in seven parliamentary constituencies in West Bengal on Monday, as TMC and BJP workers clashed in various parts of Barrackpore, Bongaon, and Arambagh seats.

Although the poll panel has claimed that the polling has been peaceful so far, it said it has received 1,036 complaints until 11 am from different political parties alleging EVM malfunctioning and agents being stopped from entering booths.

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Clashes broke out between supporters of TMC and BJP in Khanakul area of Arambagh constituency as both parties clashed over stopping polling agents from entering the booths.

Two live crude bombs were also recovered from the area by security personnel.

"BJP goons have unleashed a reign of terror in the area and are intimidating voters," TMC candidate Mitali Bag said.

BJP candidate Arup Kanti Digar rubbished the allegations and blamed the TMC for letting loose violence on the day of the polls.

In neighbouring Hooghly constituency, BJP sitting MP and party candidate Locket Chatterjee faced protests from TMC activists led by TMC MLA Ashima Patra.

As Chatterjee was on her way to a booth, TMC activists staged protests and shouted "Chor Chor (thief thief) slogans".

Following which, the BJP MP got down from her car and shouted counter slogans.

A huge police and central forces contingent rushed to the spot and stopped the two groups.

Sporadic incidents of violence were reported from various parts of Howrah constituency.

In the Liluah area of Howrah, the BJP accused TMC workers of booth jamming leading to clashes between both groups.

The central police forces rushed to the area and dispersed the mob.

In Bongaon constituency’s Gayeshpur area, local BJP leader Subir Biswas was allegedly beaten by TMC goons outside a booth. He was later shifted to hospital.

In the Kalyani area of the same constituency, Union Minister and BJP candidate Shantanu Thakur caught a person using the identity card of his rival TMC candidate Biswajit Das inside a polling booth.

The person was later removed from the booth by central forces.

In some areas, TMC workers staged protest following allegations that central forces were assisting BJP workers in intimidating voters at some booths of Hooghly.

A voter turnout of 32.70 per cent was registered in seven Lok Sabha constituencies of West Bengal until 11 am on Monday, an Election Commission official said.

Voting is underway in Arambagh, Uluberia, Hooghly, Howrah, Bongaon, Srerampore, and Barrackpore Lok Sabha constituencies.

Out of these, five were won by the TMC and two were won by the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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