Communist Party of India (Marxist) candidate from Raiganj Mohammed Salim on Thursday said his car was attacked by unknown persons when he went to a polling booth at Islampur in West Bengal’s Uttar Dinajpur, PTI reported. Raiganj, Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri Lok Sabha constituencies in Bengal are voting in the second phase of Lok Sabha elections on Thursday.
Stones were allegedly thrown at Salim’s car. “I got to know of rigging inside this booth,” Salim alleged, according to PTI. “After I reached the polling station, some people attacked my car. Though I am unhurt, the vehicle has been damaged. I believe the ruling Trinamool Congress is behind the incident.”
Bharatiya Janata Party’s Raiganj candidate Debasree Chaudhuri also alleged that Trinamool Congress workers had tried to capture a polling booth in the constituency, ANI reported.
Sporadic incidents of violence were reported in some areas of the state where polls are being conducted today. In Raiganj constituency, a reporter and cameraperson of a local news channel were allegedly manhandled when they were covering polling at Kataphulbari.
Voters in Girpar in the same constituency blocked the National Highway 34, because they said unknown miscreants had not allowed them to vote, NDTV reported. Voters in Chopra town, which falls under Darjeeling Lok Sabha constituency, also claimed there were no central forces deployed at the polling stations. Police resorted to tear gas shells and fired in the air to control the mob, after the group allegedly pelted stones at them.
“We have no confidence in the state police, and want immediate deployment of central forces here,” a voter told PTI.
At least three people were detained in Chopra in this connection, the news agency quoted a Election Commission official as saying. “We are talking to the voters to urge them to cast their ballots without any fear. We have assured them of total protection,” the official said.
The Election Commission on Wednesday had said it will deploy more security in the second phase of elections in West Bengal than the first phase. According to a report in The Indian Express, 178 companies of central forces have been deployed for three constituencies.
At 1 pm, around 47.5% voter turnout was recorded in Darjeeling, while 52.54% in Raiganj and 54.73% in Jalpaiguri.