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West Bengal: Mamata alleges Central forces helping BJP at Shah's behest

A large voter turnout of more than 80 per cent despite sporadic incidents of violence and allegations of vote fraud on Thursday marked the second phase of West Bengal assembly polls.

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Mamata Banerjee | Amit Shah | West Bengal Assembly polls

Press Trust of India  |  Nandigram/ Kolkata 

West Bengal, elections, polling booth

A large voter turnout of more than 80 per cent despite sporadic incidents of violence and allegations of vote fraud on Thursday marked the second phase of assembly polls.

Chief Minister also accused central forces deployed in Nandigram constituency, where she is locked in battle with her former lieutenant, Suvendu Adhikari now with the BJP, of helping the saffron party under instructions from Union Home Minister

Allegations of booth capturing and partisan behavior prompted the EC to seek a report on an incident in Boyal village where the feisty TMC boss stayed put for more than two hours outside a polling booth following a siege of sorts by BJP supporters.

Banerjee slammed the Election Commission for not taking any action despite lodging 63 complaints and threatened to move court over it. Amongst the complaints were allegations of "booth capturing" and "massive fake voting" in Boyal.

The area saw a face-off between TMC and BJP supporters who gave vent at each other with slogans of "Khela Hobe" and "Jai Shri Ram".

Stones were hurled and abuses traded, prompting the administration to rush a police contingent to the spot.

Banerjee also rang up the Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar to complain about the situation.

Despite the violence and accusations of vote fraud in Nandigram, the TMC supremo said she was confident of victory from the constituency where she had a decade-and-half ago led a farmers' movement against a chemical hub planned by the then Left front government.

"I am not worried about Nandigram, I am confident of victory. (But) I am worried about democracy," Banerjee said as she showed the 'V' for victory sign to a gaggle of press photographers.

The TMC boss claimed she would win a majority of the 60 seats that had gone to polls in the first and second phase.

The TMC leadership also complained of "terror unleashed by the Central forces in favour of the BJP" in the Nandigram constituency, which recorded 80.79 per cent polling till 5 pm.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was campaigning elsewhere in the state however said "what happened in Nandigram proves that Banerjee has lost the polls."

While her rival Adhikari said, "It has become her habit to insult people of Nandigram. The people of Nandigram will not forget this insult. Mamata Begum (Mamata Banerjee) will be defeated."


Suvendu Adhikari's car too was attacked twice at - Takapura and Satengabari - and stones were pelted while he was visiting booths in the assembly constituency.

His vehicle was gheraoed at various locations as TMC supporters shouted slogans against the BJP leader. Similarly, BJP candidate from Keshpur assembly constituency Tanmay Ghosh's vehicle was also vandalised allegedly by the Trinamool Congress supporters, officials said.

Despite tight security in 30 assembly segments spread across Purba and Paschim Medinipur districts, Bankura and South 24 Parganas, rival TMC and BJP supporters fought pitched battles in several places in the four districts.

"Till 5 pm, 80.43 per cent polling has been recorded in the state," EC officials said.

Bankura recorded the highest turnout at 82.92 per cent, followed by Purba Medinipur at 81.23, South 24 Parganas at 79:65 per cent, Paschim Medinipur at 78 per cent.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Fri, April 02 2021. 02:50 IST
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