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Lok Sabha elections 2019: Opposition attacks TMC after clashes, firing

The opposition, such as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress, complained of violence by the ruling Trinamool Congress, who they said tried to prevent voters from going to the polling stations to exercise their franchise.

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 30, 2019 07:22 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
TMC,Lok Sabha elections 2019,BJP
Clashes broke out in places such as Nalhati (Birbhum), Nanoor (Bolpur), Barabani (Asansol) and Suri (Birbhum). In Kandihi, a security personnel fired in the air inside the polling booth, triggering tensions. ( ANI Photo)

Despite central forces deployed in 98.8% of 15,277 polling stations in West Bengal, violence lashed the battleground eastern state during the fourth phase of elections amid several allegations of voter intimidation and glitches in electronic voting machines (EVM).

As much as 76.72% of the 13,456,491 voters in the state cast their vote, said the Election Commission’s official app by 10 pm.

The opposition, such as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress, complained of violence by the ruling Trinamool Congress, who they said tried to prevent voters from going to the polling stations to exercise their franchise.

Clashes broke out in places such as Nalhati (Birbhum), Nanoor (Bolpur), Barabani (Asansol) and Suri (Birbhum). In Kandihi, a security personnel fired in the air inside the polling booth, triggering tensions.

In Asansol, BJP candidate Babul Supriyo’s car was vandalised when he went to a booth. Police complaints were lodged against BJP candidates Dudhkumar Mondal from Birbhum and Kalyan Choubey from Krishnanagar constituency for entering booths with cellphones.

In Baharampur, Congress candidate Adhir Chowdhury was seen chasing away a few men who allegedly came to cast false votes in KN College .

Baharampur, Asansol and Bardhaman-Durgapur are the three constituencies that pose a significant challenge to chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who is looking to sweep the state’s 42 seats for a greater national profile.

Despite reports of violence, many voters said they felt secure with the additional force deployment. “The experience was overall fine. I didn’t face any trouble,” said Subhadeep Pal, a first time voter in Suri.

First Published: Apr 30, 2019 00:03 IST