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India votes in final phase of Lok Sabha polls, violence and rigging mars Bengal balloting

India votes in final phase of Lok Sabha polls, violence and rigging mars Bengal balloting

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 19 May 2019, 11:39 am

New Delhi/Kolkata, May 19 (IBNS): India voted in the last phase of the Lok Sabha polls on Sunday as violence and electoral malpractices were once again reported from West Bengal where the key battle is between the state's ruling Trinamool Congress and the emerging force that is Bharatiya Janata Party.

While the Trinamool Congress alleged that BJP created troubles and used central forces to torture voters and TMC workers mercilessly, the BJP and the Left accused the ruling party of resorting to mindless violence and rigging.

The whole day the national TV channels beamed footages of violence and malpractices across the state.

Voters across 59 Lok Sabha constituencies of India in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chandigarh are deciding the fates of 918 candidates in this phase of the elections.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is currently touring Kedarnath, is one of the key candidates in this phase of the elections.

He is contesting from Varanasi seat in Uttar Pradesh.

He is fighting against Congress's Ajay Rai and grand alliance candidate Shalini Yadav.

Modi had won the Lok Sabha polls from the seat in 2014.

Bengal Violence and Malpractices

BJP Candidate from Jadavpur Lok Sabha constituency near Kolkata Anupam Hazra alleged booth capturing by the TMC activists and said female TMC goons are conducting proxy voting and marking people's fingers with ink.

"People are eager to vote for the BJP but TMC goons are not allowing them to vote,"  Hazra complained and said his car also came under attack and was vandalised.

He alleged it was done by the TMC workers who were trying to attack him.

"TMC is doing this because they fear defeat. My team has been attacked, our polling officers were threatened and my workers have suffered injuries, ' said Hazra.

“ Women TMC workers with covered faces are casting proxy votes, it is difficult to establish their identity. When we raised objection to it, they created a ruckus at the polling station,” alleged Hazra at polling booth number 150/137 in West Bengal’s Jadavpur.

North Kolkata CPI(M) candidate Kaninika Bose (Ghosh) alleged that polling agents were beaten up and not allowed to sit inside the booths.

Bombs were also hurled in Basirhat as TMC and BJP workers clashed.

Additional forces arrived at polling station number 189 in Basirhat. BJP MP candidate from Basirhat, Sayantan Basu alleged that TMC workers are not allowing people to cast their vote.

Voters held protest outside polling station number 189 in Basirhat, alleging that TMC workers are not allowing them to cast their vote. The BJP candidate said, "100 people were stopped from voting. We will take them to cast their vote.

" BJP supporters blocked a road, alleging that TMC workers obstructed them from voting in Malancha that is under Basirhat constituency.

BJP candidate Nilanjan Roy in Diamond Harbour constituency alleged that his car was vandalised in front of police in Budge Budge area.

“Bike-borne goons came and vandalised my car. We have informed the EC and police super about the incident. The EC has failed to utilise the police and security forces. The poll panel has become a mute spectator. I have told police that trouble would take place here on polling day, ” said Roy.

The EC sought a report on two alleged incidents at booth number 219 in Baduria under Basirhat Lok Sabha constituency about the votes of two persons being cast by someone else.

Madan Mitra, a TMC candidate for Bhatpara by-poll, rushed to booth number 106 after aTMC polling agent was allegedly threatened and asked to leave by the presiding officer. During the process, he had an altercation with the paramilitary forces as he was prevented from entering the booth. 

An explosion has been also reported in West Bengal's Bhatpara assembly constituency. Police had to baton-charge the mob, said reports.

An explosion has been reported in West Bengal's Bhatpara assembly constituency. Police used batons to disperse the mob, reported Times Now channel.

TMC candidate for Basirhat, Tollywood actress Nusrat Jahan, meanwhile, has been accused of holding a roadshow in her constituency to influence voters. In a Times Now report she was seen waving at voters standing in a car with an open roof.

She later said she was only waving at people who wanted to see a filmstar.

CPI-M alleges rigging

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said no efforts were made to stop the hijacking of democracy in Bengal.

"Massive rigging including in Diamond Harbour, Dum Dum, North Kolkata. There are no central forces, no efforts to stop the highjacking of Democracy. EC cannot merely watch it needs to intervene decisively. It is the people resisting this violence and wresting back their rights," alleged Yechury in a post on Twitter on a day when Bengal witnessed widespread violence in polling.

Central forces tortured voters: Mamata

Meanwhile, Mamata Banerjee said the central forces were used by the BJP to torture the voters and that was unprecedented.

"The way BJP has used central forces to torture voters here .. I have never seen this.. unprecedented," she told reporters.