TMC resorts to violence, bogus voting in West Bengal polls
19 April 2019
Voters allege mass bogus voting and intimidation of voters at a polling booth in Raiganj constituency of West Bengal on Thursday. A Times Now report citing locals said miscreants stopped voters from reaching their respective polling booths and also snatched their voter I-cards.
The Times Now report said voters in the constituency were discriminated against on religious lines as voting progressed in the second phase of Lok Sabha Elections on Thursday.
Hindu voters at a village in the constituency have alleged that some of them were stopped from proceeding towards the polling booth, while some others were told that bogus votes in their names had already been cast as early as in the morning.
As per details available with Times Now and eyewitness accounts, voters belonging to the Hindu religion were stopped from casting their votes by some Muslim men and their voter identity cards were also taken away.
As reported by Times Now correspondent Tamal Saha, some of the Hindu voters were stopped from casting their votes because they would have voted for the BJP.
Violence marred the second phase of elections here on Thursday as BJP's Raiganj Parliamentary constituency candidate Debasree Chaudhuri alleged that TMC workers tried to capture a polling booth in the constituency.
Meanwhile, police had to resort to lathi-charge and tear-gas to clear the blockade at Chopra which falls under Darjeeling parliamentary constituency.
"TMC workers were trying to capture booth. They were campaigning among Muslims there. This isn't election campaign," Debasree alleged.
Security personnel lobbed tear gas shells and caned locals as they blocked NH-34 in protest after unknown miscreants allegedly prevented them from casting their votes at Digirpar polling booth in Chopra, in Islampur subdivision of North Dinajpur.
Bangladeshi star Ferdous Ahmed, along with a few Indian actors, allegedly campaigned for TMC's Raiganj candidate Kanhaiyalal Agarwal in the ongoing elections. The government subsequently blacklisted Ahmed from campaigning, cancelled his business visa and asked him to leave India.
On 11 April, Coochbehar and Alipurduar went to the polls. While in phase 3 on 23 April, 5 Lok Sabha constituencies will go for polls, 8 Lok Sabha seats in phase 4 on 29 April, while 7, 8 and 9 parliamentary constituencies will vote on 6, 12 1nd 19 May, respectively. There are 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal.