Lok Sabha election 2019: Clashes disrupt polling in West Bengal; Babul Supriyo’s vehicle vandalised in Asansol
Violence marred the first few hours of polling in West Bengal, where the fourth phase of elections is underway in eight Lok Sabha constituencies
Clashes broke out between the supporters of rival parties in some areas of West Bengal's Birbhum
The state election office also received reports of violence from Jemua and Barabani areas of Bardhaman East
In Barabani, BJP candidate and central minister minister Babul Supriyo's vehicle was vandalised allegedly by TMC workers
Kolkata: Violence marred the first few hours of polling in West Bengal, where the fourth phase of elections is underway in eight Lok Sabha constituencies.
According to senior election official, clashes broke out between the supporters of rival parties in Nanoor, Rampurhat, Nalhati and Siuri areas of Birbhum seat, injuring several people on the two sides.
In Dubrajpur area of the constituency, voters allegedly engaged in a scuffle with the central forces when they were barred from entering the booths with mobile phones. Security personnel reportedly opened fire in the air to control the mob, following which polling was stalled in the booths, the official said.
The state election office has also received reports of violence from Jemua and Barabani areas of Bardhaman East constituency, he maintained.
"In Barabani, BJP candidate and central minister Babul Supriyo's vehicle was vandalised allegedly by TMC workers outside a polling station, while in Jemua, voters fled from a polling station after being threatened by miscreants," he told PTI.
According to reports, Supriyo had a tiff with polling officials inside a booth, following which TMC supporters attacked his vehicle.
"Polling was peaceful in the first two hours. However, news of clashes started surfacing thereafter. We have sought reports from each of these places. Our officials are monitoring the situation and taking proper measures to conduct the election in a free and fair manner," he said.
In Birbhum constituency, the Election Commission has show-caused BJP candidate Dudh Kumar Mondal after he was seen talking over a mobile phone inside a polling booth, just before casting his ballot, the official said, adding that the presiding officer of the station has been removed.
Notably, the poll panel has put TMC's Birbhum president Anubrata Mondal under scanner after poll workers complained that they feel "threatened" by his presence.
A total of 1,34,56,491 electorate is set decide the fate of 68 candidates Monday in the eight constituencies - Baharampur, Krishnanagar, Ranaghat (SC), Burdwan East (SC), Burdwan-Durgapur, Asansol, Bolpur (SC) and Birbhum.
The EC has deployed 580 companies of central forces to man over 98 per cent of the polling booths in these constituencies to ensure free and fair polling.
West Bengal Election 2021, Why is Mamata Banerjee Nandigram seat important: Nandigram Election Result 2021 LIVE, CM Mamata Banerjee trails, CM Mamata Banerjee is being challenged by her former aide and BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari
At least 292 observers have been appointed and 256 companies of central forces deployed at 108 counting centres spread across 23 districts of the state
West Bengal election phase 7 voting LIVE updates: The BJP chief also accused the TMC of unleashing violence in Bengal during poll campaign. He condemned the "murderous attack" on BJP candidate Gopal Chandra Saha, saying that people will answer "bullets with ballots"