Bengal Assembly bypolls: Brisk polling continues amid reports of violence

by IANS |

Kolkata, July 10 (IANS) Brisk polling was continuing in four Assembly constituencies in West Bengal on Wednesday amid reports of stray incidents of violence and election malpractices surfacing from different pockets.

The complaints have mainly surfaced from Ranaghat-Dakshin constituency in Nadia district and Bagda in North 24 Parganas.

Till 11 a.m. as many as 26 complaints of such election malpractices have been registered with the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), West Bengal, out of which 20 are from Ranaghat-Dakshin alone.

However, the polling process was more or less peaceful in the remaining two constituencies of Raiganj in North Dinajpur district and Maniktala in Kolkata.

In the first four hours, the average polling percentage in these four Assembly constituencies was reported at 23.45, with Raiganj being the highest at 25.98, followed by Ranaghat-Dakshin at 23.32, Bagda at 22.63 and Maniktala the lowest at 21.89.

At Bagda, BJP candidate Binay Kumar Biswas faced massive protest from Trinamool Congress activists after he reached a polling booth in the constituency. The ruling party activists surrounded him and started shouting go-back slogans.

“I went to this booth after receiving complaints of booth-jamming. After I reached there the ruling party activists aggressively heckled me, and it was clear what was going on there. I have informed the electoral officers about the entire development,” Biswas told media persons.

At Bagda again, controversies flared as the Trinamool Congress candidate Madhuparna Thakur was spotted moving around in an SUV with the sticker of 'Government of India' pasted on the windshield of the vehicle. She was accompanied by her mother and Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha member Mamata Bala Thakur.

However, as the BJP sought the attention of the CEO's office in the matter, the sticker was covered by pasting white paper on it.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has sought a detailed report on the complaints of firing in Purnanagar under the Ranaghat-Dakshin constituency. The district police of Nadia have started an SDPO-level probe into the matter.

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