West Bengal: Post-poll clashes kill 1; 7th phase polling under way
A college student was killed in post-poll clashes at North 24 Parganas late on Sunday evening even as the seventh phase of assembly polls took off at 7am on Monday in West Bengal.
“Elections were going on by and large peacefully with no major incidents of violence,” said a senior official of the poll panel.
At Bhatpara in North 24 Parganas a BA student, Anurag Sau, was killed after he was hit by a splinter, police said. Sau had stepped out of his house around 12midnight when a bomb hurled by some miscreants exploded near him. He was rushed to the hospital where doctors declared him dead. Polls were held at Bhatpara on April 22.
Later, bombs were hurled at Tentulia in Murshidabad early on Monday. A large police contingent and quick response team of central forces rushed to the spot. “There were some reports of bombs being hurled. The situation is under control and voting is going on peacefully,” said a senior police official.
Crude bombs were also recovered from a few places, including port area of Kolkata and Murshidabad, where polling is going on since morning. Police also recovered a few bombs from Amdanga in North 24 Parganas where voting was held on Saturday.
In all, 36 assembly seats across five districts, including some in Kolkata, were to vote on Monday. The EC, however, postponed polls in two constituencies in Murshidabad, after two candidates died after testing positive for Covid-19.
“The seventh phase of the West Bengal elections takes place today. Urging people to exercise their franchise and follow all COVID-19 related protocols,” tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee, who also happens to be the nephew of chief minister Mamata Banerjee, cast his vote around 7.45 am. “TMC is coming back to power with two-thirds majority. We have already got the magic figure and now the fight is on to increase our margin,” Banerjee told reporters after coming out of the polling station.
The BJP, which had made deep inroads in Bengal by winning 18 of the 42 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, has set a target to win more than 200 seats this election and out of the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC.
Mamata Banerjee, who is a resident of Bhabanipur constituency in south Kolkata is also expected to cast her vote around 10.30 am.