When in doubt, just sniff it out!
If you can’t see it, sniff it! This is the new mantra Trinamool is resorting to this assembly elections. The party discovered a novel way of using the nose to find out who voted for their chief political opponent through the secret ballot.
Trinamool workers dabbed perfume on the button with the CPI(M) symbol. Every time someone emerged out of the voting booth, the workers sniffed the person’s finger to check who s/he had voted for. This happened at a booth at Gorpara village of Jalundi gram panchayat area in Nanoor assembly constituency on Saturday.
“After every 10 voters, Trinamool assigned one of its committed supporters, who is also a bonafide voter of that booth, to go and cast his vote. When he cast his vote, he also dabbed more perfume on the CPI(M) button,” a local resident told Hindustan Times on Saturday morning.
“Whenever anybody pressed the CPI(M) symbol, his fingers would smell of the perfume. Trinamool men waiting outside the polling station would then sniff fingers of those whom they suspected would vote for CPI(M),” said the source.
Sitting in the Khujitipara CPI(M) party office, CPI(M) local committee secretary Hasibur Rahman said, “They (Trinamool Congress men) have threatened villagers with dire consequences if they vote for any other party.”
There was a long queue outside the Gorpara Primary School (part number 179) booth on Saturday. Paramilitary forces with guns made sure the situation there remained calm.
Standing outside the Gorpara polling station, this correspondent saw some youths sniff the thumbs of two persons as they emerged out of the booth. The boys were standing about 200 metres from the booth.
“We are scared. Yesterday, they told us that if we don’t vote for Trinamool, they would set our house on fire,” said a woman in her mid-twenties with a seven-month-old baby in her lap.
Jaidev Hazra, the sitting CPI(M) MLA of Nanoor assembly seat, said, “We have submitted our complaints with details to the Election Commission through the sector officer.”
However, Trinamool district president Anubrata Mondal was quick to dismiss the allegation.