Kolkata: From Hazra, Behala to Jadavpur, BJP supporters are out to make their 12-hour bandh a success. But Mamata Banerjee government has rolled out a plan to ensure the bandh doesn’t succeed. The saffron party has called for a bandh today to protest against ‘rigging and violence’ in the West Bengal civic polls.
Kolkata Police took a few bandh supporters into custody near 8B bus stand in Jadavpur and Hazra. In Siliguri, a BJP leader blocked a major road and made it inaccessible. Several BJP supporters were arrested after clash with police. The opposition party members blocked the railway tracks in Hooghly during their protest against the alleged violence in Bengal civic polls.
Speaking to reporters, BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya had said the civic polls in Bengal is a “mockery of democracy.” West Bengal will not see democratic way of holding polls until TMC remains in power here,” he said.
Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari promised to fight a legal battle against the violence. He also said that he has all the necessary proof to go the legal way.
Congress has also supported the bandh.
Meanwhile, the Mamata Banerjee government doesn’t favour any bandh and said all private and state establishments, transports, markets, schools and colleges will function normally.
“All State Government offices including Panchayati Raj institutions, Municipal Bodies, Educational Institutions and all those provided with Grants-in Aid by the State Government shall remain open. All the employees should report for duty and no leave would be granted to any employee on the date of bandh. Absence on the Bandh day will be treated as ‘dies non’ and no salary will be admissible,” read a notice from state secretariat Nabanna.
An estimated 77 per cent of voters exercised their democratic rights till 1700 hours amidst high security polling on Sunday for 108 municipalities in 20 districts across West Bengal, election officials said.
Midnapore recorded the highest turnout of 84 per cent, while Darjeeling registered the lowest 54 per cent polling.
Tension ran high in parts of West Bengal as one BJP candidate was arrested for allegedly vandalising the Electronic Voting Machine.
The BJP candidate was arrested at Mandir Ghanta Primary School in Ward No. 4 of Basirhat in North 24 Parganas district, following allegations that he broke the EVM during a violent clash in the booth. The Trinamool alleged that outsiders entered the booth during the voting and indulged in violence. The BJP claimed the allegations were “cooked up”.
In North 24 Parganas, TMC and BJP workers squabbled over allegations about attempts to occupy booths with outsiders at the Ganesh Primary School, Jagddal.
After the protests erupted BJP leader and MP Arjun Singh went to the spot. The BJP alleged that the son of a Trinamool candidate lined up “fake voters”.
The son of the BJP candidate tried to remove them, resulting in heated exchanges between the two sides.
Arjun Singh’s relative Sanjay Singh was arrested for threatening to vandalize EVM.
Tensions ran high in the railway town of Khargpur over alleged EVM vandalism as well as bombing after entering the booth during the polls.
People from the area gathered and started protesting. Later a huge police force led by SDPO came to the spot.
Alleged beating of the Congress candidate in Booth No. 26 of Behrampur Municipality was reported. Upon receiving the news, Adhir Chowdhury rushed to the booth of Congress candidate Gayatri Chowdhury.
Outsiders and bike forces are roaming in different wards of Rajpur Sonarpur Municipality including 3,14,15,16,17,22,28,28,31,35.
CPI (M) leader Sujan Chakraborty has alleged that forces have taken over the entire Jayanagar municipality area. The CPM candidate was accused of beating the Trinamool candidate to the ground in Ward No. 11 of Shantipur Municipality.
Trinamool candidate Snigdha Mukherjee told UNI, “The CPIM candidate and his party have been threatening for a long time.” Later, CPIM candidate Moumita Das launched a surprise attack.
This is the allegation that the Trinamool candidate was practically beaten on the ground with his shoes. However, Moumita Mahato Das has denied the allegations made by the Trinamool candidate.
At Titagarh, the CPI-M alleged that its candidate Arun Singh was beaten up when he went to a polling station on receiving reports of booth jamming by outsiders. The Trinamool, however, denied the accusations.
At North Barrackpore, tension erupted over the alleged occupation of the booth at Souhardya Milon Kendra. The CPI-M alleged that its agents were not allowed inside the Motijheel Girls’ High School booth in Ward 22 of South Dumdum Municipality.
The Trinamool dubbed the allegation “baseless”. In northern West Bengal’s Malda district, Trinamool was accused of rigging the polls at the Vivekananda Vidyamandir booth.
In Jalpaiguri district’s Mainaguri, the opposition party workers accused the Trinamool of jamming the booth of Petkathi Primary School.
In Hooghly district, the CPI-M nominee Sushil Baury alleged that he was beaten up by Trinamool-backed miscreants, while in Jalpaiguri the Congress accused the police of manhandling its candidate from ward 17 Narayan Chandra Sarkar.
Meanwhile, a Raj Bhawan tweeted, ” State Election Commissioner Saurab Das has been called upon to brief Guv anytime before 10 am tomorrow in view of alarmingly disturbing inputs, depicting scenario of violence and lawlessness, with administration in partisan mode and systemic failure #SEC. “
India Blooms News Service