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Assam Assembly Election 2021 Updates: Sporadic violence in Nandigram day after poll; situation now peaceful, say police

Assembly Election 2021 LIVE Updates: Baijayant Panda said that whenever Congress sees defeat staring at it in its face they start making these kinds of allegations and blow it out of proportion

FP Staff April 02, 2021 22:15:46 IST
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Assam Assembly Election 2021 Updates: Sporadic violence in Nandigram day after poll; situation now peaceful, say police

Highlights

14:39 (ist)

Assam Assembly Election 2021 LATEST Updates

EC orders repoll in Ratabri, after reports of EVM tampering

The Election Commission (EC) has ordered a repoll for a polling station in the Ratabari Assembly seat of Assam after reports emerged of an EVM being transported in a private vehicle belonging to a BJP candidate.

The EC acknowledged that there was a “violation of transport protocol” and issued a show-cause notice to the Presiding Officer and also suspended him along with three other officers for the lapse.

Last night, videos emerged showing a group of people intercepting a car, not belonging to the EC, in the Karimganj district’s Patharkandi carrying an EVM used for voting in Polling Station 149 Indira MV School. 

According to a factual report released by the EC, the car carrying the polling party and EVM broke down, following which they hailed a passing vehicle without checking its ownership.  “As reported by them, they moved towards Karimganj and as they reached Kanaishil, Karimganj at 11 pm, they had to slow down in traffic. As they slowed down, they were surrounded by a mob of about 50 people which started pelting stones at them. The mob also started abusing them and did not allow the vehicle to pass,” the EC report said.

It then turned out that the car belonged to Patharkandi BJP candidate Krishnendu Paul and the video of the attack on the car was also re-tweeted by Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi.

As the crowd alleged that the EVM was being taken to be tampered with, the polling party was held hostage inside the car as the mob grew in size. “On examination, the polled EVM comprising of BU, CU and VVPAT was found to be with its seal intact without any damage whatsoever. All the items have been deposited in the strong room,” the EC said in a statement.

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Apr 02, 2021 - 23:04 (IST)

West Bengal Assembly Election 2021 LATEST Update

Stray clashes in Nandigram a day after polling

A day after the polling, stray clashes took place between workers of the Trinamool Congress and the BJP on Friday in some parts of the Nandigram
seat, where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been locked in a fight with protege-turned-adversary Suvendu Adhikari of the saffron party, police said.
A woman, stated to be a BJP activist, was injured in one such incident at Bhekutia area in the constituency and she was admitted to Nandigram block primary health centre. The area is peaceful now, police said.

Apr 02, 2021 - 22:45 (IST)

Assam Assembly Election 2021 LATEST Update

Congress urges EC to take strict action against BJP after polled EVM is found in candidate's  car

The Congress on Friday urged the EC to take strict action against BJP after a polled EVM was found in the car of the saffron party's Patharkandi candidate in Assam and demanded that security be increased for the final phase of Assembly election in the state on 6 April. 

Congress General Secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala also sought the lodging of an FIR against the BJP candidate and his immediate interrogation to uncover the truth behind the incident. The Election Commission had said that the BJP candidate's vehicle was used as the one being used by the poll body had broken down.

Apr 02, 2021 - 22:32 (IST)

Assam Assembly Election 2021 LATEST Update

80.96 percent voting in 2nd phase according to updated figure

The final poll percentage for the second phase of assembly polls in Assam is 80.96 percent, 1.03 percent more than the first phase total of 79.93 percent, election officials said on Friday. The voting percentage was mentioned as 77.21 percent at the end of polling Thursday but as per the updated figure it has increased to 80.96 percent.

Apr 02, 2021 - 22:26 (IST)

Assam Assembly Election 2021 LATEST Update

Baijayant Panda says EVM controversy protocol oversight

"Election Commission has conducted an inquiry and taken action. The fact is that one of the official vehicles broke down and they were offered some help by another vehicle. There was no political intent behind it. Perhaps there was some protocol that was not followed as a result of which EC has taken action against some officials & ordered re-poll. There is no involvement of BJP or any political motive. Whenever Congress sees defeat staring at it in its face they start making these kinds of allegations and blow it out of proportion. The truth of the matter is revealed in the inquiry and the report," Baijayant Jay Panda, Assam in-charge of BJP told ANI

Apr 02, 2021 - 22:01 (IST)

Tamil Nadu Assembly Election 2021 LATEST Update

Kamal Haasan a 'super-NOTA'; his party will not win single seat: Karti Chidambaram

Congress leader Karti Chidambaram on Friday dubbed Kamal Haasan a "super-NOTA" and said the actor-turned-politician's Makkal Neethi Maiam (MNM) will not win a single seat in the Tamil Nadu Assembly polls as it is "not a sustainable political party".

The Congress MP from Sivaganga also slammed the AIADMK-BJP alliance and said the people of Tamil Nadu do not want a government that has any "stain, scent or shadow" of the BJP as its 'Hindi-Hindutva' agenda "irritates" them.

Apr 02, 2021 - 21:52 (IST)

Assam Assembly Election 2021 LATEST Update

Amit Shah seeks EC probe into Assam EVM row

Union Home Minister Amit Shah Friday sought an inquiry by the Election Commission after a huge political row erupted over a polling team in Assam being found carrying an EVM in the vehicle belonging to the wife of a BJP candidate. Taking cognizance of the controversy, the poll panel suspended the presiding officer of the polling station, where the electronic voting machine was ballotted, and three other officials earlier in the day.

Apr 02, 2021 - 21:48 (IST)

Assam Assembly Election 2021 LATEST Update

EC bars Himanta Biswa Sarma from campaigning for 48 hrs

The Election Commission on Friday barred Assam minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma from campaigning for 48 with immediate effect for allegedly making threatening remarks against Bodoland People's Front chief Hagrama Mohilary.

"... The Commission hereby strongly condemns the impugned statements made by Himanta Biswa Sarma ... 
 
"The Commission ... bars him from holding any public meetings, public processions, public rallies, road shows, interviews and public utterances in media (electronic, print, social media) in connection with ongoing elections for 48 hours from immediate effect on April 02 (Friday)," the order read.
 
The Congress had approached the EC demanding action against Sarma for his remark that Mohilary would be sent to jail through central probe agency NIA if he does "extremism" with rebel leader M Batha. The Bodoland People's Front is an ally of the Congress in Assam

Apr 02, 2021 - 21:27 (IST)

West Bengal Assembly Election 2021 LATEST Update

Amid TMC allegations, Bengal governor congratulates central police forces

Amid allegations levelled by the ruling TMC of central police forces acting as per orders of Union Home minister Amit Shah, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Friday commended the central forces and the state police for their "excellent job" in the second phase of the assembly polls.

Polling was held for 30 seats, including the high-profile Nandigram constituency where Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee was pitted against her former lieutenant Suvendu Adhikari who has crossed over to the BJP, in the second phase of state elections on Thursday. 

Apr 02, 2021 - 21:05 (IST)

West Bengal Assembly Election 2021 LATEST Update

BJP accuses Mamata of inciting TMC cadre at Boyal booth in Nandigram

A BJP delegation Friday met Election Commission officials here and demanded action against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, alleging she violated elections norms in her Nandigram constituency while votes were being cast during the second phase of polling on Thursday. 

The delegation comprised Union ministers Prakash Javadekar, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav, and the party's national media incharge Anil Baluni.
 
"For the first time in the country's history, a chief minister sat on a dharna in a polling booth when polling was on. Before she (Mamata Banerjee) sat on her dharna, 74 per cent votes were polled in Nandigram and the polling was by and large peaceful," Javadekar told reporters after meeting the EC officials here.
 
He further alleged as soon as the Trinamool Congress chief sat on the "dharna", her party workers started pelting stones at the polling booth

Apr 02, 2021 - 20:12 (IST)

West Bengal Assembly Election 2021 LATEST Update

Bengal registers over 86% polling in Phase 2; Nandigram turnout above 88%

West Bengal has recorded a voter turnout of 86.11 per cent in the second phase of polling held  in 30 assembly constituencies spread across four districts, Chief Electoral Officer Aariz Aftab said on Friday.

The Nandigram constituency, where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been locked in a fight with protege-turned-adversary Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP, polled 88.01 percent votes, the CEO said. 
 
Among the four districts, the highest voter turnout of 87.42 percent was registered in Purba Medinipur, followed by Bankura (86.98 per cent), South 24 Parganas (86.74 per cent), and Paschim Medinipur (83.84 per cent). 
 
Among constituencies, Bankura district's Kotulpur recorded the highest polling percentage of 90 per cent, while the lowest voter turnout of 72.68 per cent was registered in Kharagpur Sadar in Paschim Medinipur district, Aftab said.     

Assembly Election 2021 LATEST Updates: Baijayant Panda said that whenever Congress sees defeat staring at it in its face they start making these kinds of allegations and blow it out of proportion

The Election Commission on Friday barred Assam minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma from campaigning for 48 with immediate effect for allegedly making threatening remarks against Bodoland People's Front chief Hagrama Mohilary

"For the first time in the country's history, a chief minister sat on a dharna in a polling booth when polling was on. Before she (Mamata Banerjee) sat on her dharna, 74 percent votes were polled in Nandigram and the polling was by and large peaceful," Prakash Javadekar told reporters after meeting the EC officials.

West Bengal has recorded a voter turnout of 86.11 percent in the second phase of polling held in 30 assembly constituencies spread across four districts

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had suggested at a rally in Uluberia that Mamata might contest from another seat in final phase of Bengal polls, where registration are still underway, as she is set to lose Nandigram.

Linking the ongoing investigations in a gold smuggling case with the solar scam under UDF, Modi alleged that the UDF and LDF have committed their own seven deadly sins in Kerala

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said raiding the opposition is the BJP's "coping mechanism" when it is facing defeat in elections.

The saffron party has demanded that Udhayanidhi, who is the son of DMK chief MK Stalin, should be debarred from campaigning and his candidature should be cancelled

The incident snowballed into a huge controversy on Friday morning with the Opposition Congress and AIUDF alleging that the EVM was being "stolen", while the Election Commission suspended four poll officials and ordered a repoll at the booth as a video of the fiasco went viral on social media.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra announced that she is going into isolation after her husband Robert Vadra tested positive for COVID-19 , adding that she will be cancelling her programmes planned to be held in the state on Saturday.

The Election Commission has ordered a repoll for a polling station in the Ratabari Assembly seat of Assam after reports emerged of an EVM being transported in a private vehicle belonging to a BJP candidate.

Amit Shah hit out at the Mamata Banerjee government, adding that it runs on a 3T model: Tanashahi (dictatorship), Tolabazi (manoeuvre) and Tushtikaran (appeasement), while Prime Minister Narendra Modi runs it on a 3V model: Vikas (progress), Vishwas (trust), Vyapar (business).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit out at the DMK and Congress for trying to turn peace-loving Madurai into a mafia district because of “complications in DMK's first family”.

This is the second such raid on those associated with the DMK ahead of the 6 April Tamil Nadu Assembly polls. Last month, DMK candidate EV Velu's premises were searched in Tiruvannamalai and Chennai.

A seven-member delegation of the Trinamool Congress comprising MPs and ministers will meet poll officials in Kolkata on Friday at 1.30 pm. The delegation is expected to discuss issues faced during the first two phases of elections in West Bengal.

Bodoland Peoples Front (BPF) candidate Rangja Khungur Basumatary Thursday joined BJP ahead of the third phase of poll in Assam when the constituency in which he is a contestant is slated to go to the poll.

Basumatary had reportedly gone missing for two days and at around midnight on Wednesday, senior BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma had tweeted that he had met the BPF candidate, who would join the saffron party.

BPF is an ally of the Opposition Congress in Assam, where two out of the slated three phased poll got over on Thursday.

"Official candidate of BPF and so called Congress-led alliance from Tamulpur Assembly constituency, Sri Ram Das Basumatary met me a short while ago. He has expressed his desire to Join @BJP4India and retire
from the election," Sarma tweeted.

Rangja Khungur Basumatary is also known as Ram Das Basumatary.

Basumatary told a local TV channel that he had decided to resign from BPF as the party did not lend any helping hand to him during the campaign.

Efforts made to contact him failed as his phone was switched off. A statement by the Congress confirmed that Basumatary has joined the BJP on Thursday.

Tamulpur constituency is in Baksa district under Bodoland Territorial Region and will go to the poll during the third phase on 6 April.

Reacting to the development, Congress MP Manish Tiwari said that Basumatary had gone missing due to threatening by BJPN and lambasted the saffron party for it.

"Never in India did such immoral activities take place during elections - you (BJP) threatened to use the National Investigation Agency against the party and the candidate. You (BJP) want to win the poll by wrong means. This is a fascist mentality and it is BJP's education. That party does not believe in democracy and democratic systems. This is absolutely the worst spectacle of fascism that is on display in the Assam polls," he told a press conference in Guwahati.

Tiwari demanded that the BJP government in the state tell the people what had happened to Basumatary for two days.

"I demand a detailed probe into the incident by Election Commission. How come such an incident took place in front of the EC? Is the EC blindfolded?" the Congress leader said.

AICC spokesperson Gourav Vallabh said a Congress delegation will meet the EC Thursday evening to seek deferment of voting in Tamulpur constituency and disqualification of Sarma, a senior Assam minister, from contesting and further campaigning for the state poll as he is a "repeat offender" of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).

Vallabh questioned why the EC was not checking Basumatary's call records to find his whereabouts.

"We demand that the call records of Basumatary be made public so that the people of Assam get to know what coercion, intimidation or what proposal forced him to join hands with the BJP," Vallabh said.

Commenting on the EC notice to Sarma for allegedly threatening BPF chief Hagrama Mohilary with using the NIA against him, Tiwari said "The EC issued the notice because it is convinced that such threatening language is not acceptable."

"The EC prima facie found him guilty. It is a conspiracy against the candidate. It is an attempt to subvert the election process. They (BJP) don't believe in democracy and that is why they are resorting to such practice of threatening a candidate who is in the poll contest," he said.

Sarma had said that he had got evidence of Mohilary's alleged links with the recent recoveries of arms in Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) and the case was being given to the NIA for investigation.

Later the state Director General of Police Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta had reportedly said that there was evidence of militant and his group in the arms recovery.

"We ask the Gujarati Mama (referring to Sarma's allegiance to BJP and that he is popularly called 'Mama') when did that evidence come? If it came before the MCC came into force, then why were you silent? It means you were indulging in a criminal offence. If it came after the MCC came into
force, then how and who gave the evidence to you because police now reports to the Election Commission. Yesterday the DGP said that he has all the information. Is it a coincidence or deliberate? DGP Sir why
are you not taking any action? Who has tied your hands? By making such statements, you are not strengthening the democracy, but weakening it," Vallabh added.

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