The Bharatiya Janata Party candidate in West Bengal’s Ghatal seat, Bharati Ghosh, and the party’s state chief Dilip Ghosh on Sunday accused Trinamool Congress workers of attacking them during the sixth phase of polling.
Bharati Ghosh said she was attacked twice when she tried to visit polling stations in Ghatal in the state’s Medinipur region, reports said. “They attacked me and I am injured,” Ghosh said. “That my security guards have fired is an absolute lie,” PTI quoted her as saying. She dismissed reports that said a Trinamool Congress worker was injured after her guards opened fire.
Bharati Ghosh, who is a former Indian Police Service officer, reportedly sustained minor injuries. The first alleged assault occurred when she tried to accompany a BJP agent inside a polling booth in Keshpur. The second incident occurred when the candidate was visiting a polling booth in Dogachia following reports of rigging. The attackers allegedly hurled stones and bombs in her direction. One of her security guards were injured in the incident and a vehicle was damaged in the stone pelting.
Trinamool Congress leader Firhad Hakim accused the BJP of resorting to violence during polling. “This is nothing but a ploy to disturb the peaceful polling process,” Hakim told PTI. “When the BJP is losing its ground in West Bengal it is trying to create an atmosphere of violence. Both the candidates of BJP, Bharati Ghosh and Dilip Ghosh, are trying to disrupt peace on the polling day. They have nothing to do. Both know that people have rejected them.”
Ghatal MP Deepak Adhikary called for restrain. “She is a former IPS officer and knows what to do and what not to,” Adhikary said. “She is trying to break the law. I will ask her and every other candidate as well as the voters to stay calm.”
Dilip Ghosh claimed that Bharati Ghosh had been attacked before too. “Since the TMC failed to stop her politically, it is trying to physically harm her,” the state BJP president said. He alleged that the ruling state party’s workers assaulted him in Rampura. “At a booth in Rampura, my people were being threatened since yesterday so I went to meet,” ANI quoted Ghosh as saying. “TMC goons attacked us, we were stopped from going inside the booth. They are stopping people from voting.”
Poll panel seeks report
The state chief electoral officer has asked the West Medinipur district magistrate for reports on the matter. The comission has also asked for a report on allegations that Bharati Ghosh was seen filming inside a polling booth at Pikurda in Keshpur.
According to News18, the state election commission has ordered the police to register a first information report against the former IPS officer for bringing her security guards within 100 metres of the polling booth.
The Election Commission deployed 770 companies of central forces in the eight Lok Sabha constituencies that went to polls on Sunday.