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Lok Sabha elections 2019: BJP alleges attack by TMC in Bengal; Left candidate assaulted, Congress office vandalised

Birbhum district has two seats, both of which were won by the TMC in 2014. From Bolpur constituency, TMC candidate Anupam Hazra (who joined the BJP this year) won by 2,36,114 votes. In Birbhum seat, the ruling party won by 67,263 votes.

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 28, 2019 00:10 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, Midnapore/Kolkata
TMC BJP workers clash,BJP workers in Bengal,TMC workers in bengal
Two days before the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha elections, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders alleged on Saturday that Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers vandalised a party office and beat up their supporters . (Burhaan Kinu/HT File PHOTO)

Two days before the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha elections, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders alleged on Saturday that Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers vandalised a party office and beat up their supporters in separate incidents in Bengal’s Birbhum district, leaving nine people injured.

Elsewhere in the state, Left candidate Fuad Halim was assaulted and a Congress office vandalised, with both parties alleging that workers of the ruling TMC perpetrated the attacks.

Over the past few years, the smell of gunpowder has hung heavy in the air in the district famous for Rabindranath Tagore’s Viswa Bharati University. As the BJP has grown in popularity, the frequency of its clashes with the TMC, which has a grip on Birbhum, has increased.

Birbhum district has two seats, both of which were won by the TMC in 2014. In the panchayat elections last year, all 42 zilla parishad seats in the district were won by TMC without a contest, setting a low water mark in an election that grabbed national attention for strong-arm tactics by the leaders of Mamata Banerjee’s party.

“There are 1,908 polling stations in Birbhum constituency and 1,957 in Bolpur. We have received 128 companies of central forces and they will be deployed in almost 99% polling stations,” said Moumita Godara Basu, the district magistrate of Birbhum.

“TMC workers, who had taken out a rally in Illambazar that falls under Bolpur seat, ransacked our party office, smashed furniture and beat up our party workers and supporters on Saturday,” alleged Dilip Ghosh, vice president of BJP’s Birbhum unit.

Jafarul Islam, TMC sabhapati of Illambazar panchayat samiti, denied the allegations.

The Congress office in Garden Reach, Kolkata was vandalised allegedly by the ruling party workers.

BJP leaders also claimed that, early on Saturday, ruling party supporters hurled crude bombs at a house in Hatora village in Sainthia under Birbhum constituency. In Golshanda village in the district, five persons -- three of the TMC and two from the BJP -- were injured in a clash, also on Saturday.

Elsewhere in the state, however, the TMC too has been at the receiving end of such clashes.

First Published: Apr 28, 2019 00:09 IST

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