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West Bengal: 58.46% voting recorded in final phase till 3 pm; violence reported from across state
Image Credit: Avishek Mitra/IBNS

West Bengal: 58.46% voting recorded in final phase till 3 pm; violence reported from across state

| @indiablooms | 01 Jun 2024, 06:19 pm

Kolkata: Violence marred voting in West Bengal in the 7th phase of Lok Sabha elections, with reports of clashes emerging from across the state. Despite violence in Bengal, the state witnessed one of the highest voter turnout at 58.46% in the final phase till 3pm, more than the overall.

Violence was reported in Kultali, located in Bengal's South 24 Parganas, where a mob allegedly threatened by Trinamool Congress supporters threw an electronic voting machine (EVM) into a pond. Taking to X, Bengal's Chief Electoral Officer stated that reserve EVMs and papers were looted by a local mob, and voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines were also thrown into a pond.

"FIR has been lodged by the sector officer and necessary action has been initiated. The poll process in all six booths under the Sector is running uninterrupted. Fresh EVMs and papers have been provided to the Sector Officer," the tweet stated.

BJP National President JP Nadda expressed confidence that his party will sweep the Lok Sabha elections, claiming they will not only retain their current seats but also achieve significant gains in Bengal, Odisha, and the southern states.

"There (Bengal) are 42 seats, we will win 30 seats there. In Odisha, we will win over 18 seats out of the 21 seats. In the same way, we will double our tally in Telangana. We will win seats in Tamil Nadu, we are going to win seats in Kerala and our vote share will definitely increase everywhere," he told news agency ANI.

Nadda also took a swipe at Trinamool Congress supremo and Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, stating that the people of the eastern state are "fed up" with the current ruling dispensation and are "prepared to seek retribution."

"Mamata ji was known for 'Maa, Maati, Maanush'. We all saw what Shahjahan Sheikh did to 'Maa'. The condition of the soil (Maati) was made such that the infiltrators kept occupying the land and running land jihad. The condition of 'Maanush' was made such that without bribes, and without giving money to TMC workers, no work was done," he told ANI.

In South Bengal, the dominance of the ruling Trinamool Congress is being challenged amid an internal power struggle. Notable candidate Abhishek Banerjee (Diamond Harbour) faces a tough three-way contest.

In Basirhat's Sandeshkhali segment, BJP's Rekha Patra is challenging Trinamool veteran Haji Nurul Islam, amidst allegations of local atrocities and land grabs by the ruling party.

Meanwhile, in Kolkata, a bevy of Tollywood celebs reached polling booths to cast their votes. Actor Mithun Chakraborty stood in a queue at a polling booth for 40 minutes to cast his vote.

Various other Tollywood actors and actresses exercised their franchise, prominent among them are Nusrat Jahan, who is also the outgoing TMC MP from Bashihat, Mimi Chakraborty, the sitting MP of Jadavpur constituency, Raima Sen and her mother former TMC MP Moon Moon Sen, Koel Mallick among others.




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