Long queues had been seen exterior most polling cubicles since early morning, elevating concern over the unfold of COVID-19, even because the EC assured that each one precautionary measures are in place
Stray incidents of violence marred the eighth and ultimate section of the mammoth West Bengal Assembly election that was performed on Thursday, 29 April in 35 constituencies throughout the Murshidabad, Birbhum, North Kolkata, and Malda districts.
As of 6 pm, the general voter turnout within the state was 76.07 %, as per the preliminary report on the Election Commission’s Voter Turnout app. Over 84.77 lakh voters exercised their franchise in 11,860 polling stations within the 4 districts.
— CEO West Bengal (@CEOWestBengal) April 29, 2021
One particular person was killed and two others had been injured hours after polling started within the Murshidabad district. The CPM claimed that its social gathering employee Kader Mondal was killed after TMC candidate Jafikul Islam “ran his car over them”, PTI reported.
However, the TMC candidate from the Domkal seat denied the allegation and stated that he was not within the space on the time of the accident.
The two CPM staff injured had been recognized as Asim Al Mamoon and Lal Chand Mondal. Taking cognisance of the demise, West Bengal chief election officer (CEO) Aariz Aftab sought a report from the district authorities on the matter.
Violence was additionally reported from the restive Birbhum district, with BJP candidate Tarakeshwar Saha allegedly struggling accidents after his automobile was ransacked. Saha accused TMC cadres of attacking him, however the allegation was dubbed as “baseless” by native leaders of the state’s ruling social gathering.
Birbhum is reportedly the “fortress” of TMC district president Anubrata Mondal. Ahead of polling day, the Election Commission had put Mondal below strict surveillance as a result of the ballot panel obtained “several complaints against him”, PTI reported.
Several constituencies in Kolkata too witnessed clashes whereas polling was underway on Thursday.
In the Jorasanko constituency, BJP candidate Meena Devi Purohit alleged that crude bombs had been thrown at her automobile whereas she was touring polling cubicles.
However, native EC authorities had been later quoted by PTI as saying that the disturbance was brought on by firecrackers and never crude bombs. “Preliminary probe revealed that banned firecrackers were set off and not bombs,” the official on the Chief Electoral Officer’s workplace stated.
Those behind the incident are being recognized and a hunt is on to nab them, he added.
The incident, which occurred on Central Avenue within the coronary heart of the town quickly after polling started within the space, triggered panic among the many individuals on Thursday morning.
Soon after the incident, BJP’s Purohit alleged that crude bombs had been hurled at her automobile. “Bombs were hurled at my car but I am not scared. I will definitely visit the booths. They tried to kill me and it is a ploy to scare the voters,” Purohit alleged.
Additionally, clashes broke out between two teams of individuals in Kolkata’s Beliaghata space, after which the police resorted to lathicharge to disperse them. Two individuals, who recognized themselves as BJP activists, reportedly alleged that they had been roughed up by TMC staff through the melee.
In Kolkata’s Maniktala constituency, BJP candidate Kalyan Choubey was surrounded by a gaggle of individuals throughout his go to to the polling cubicles. Choubey claimed “TMC-backed anti-socials” tried to create disturbances “so that they could rig the polls”.
#WATCH | TMC supporters gherao automotive of BJP candidate Kalyan Chaubey in Maniktala, North Kolkata. He says, “Our polling agent was sitting inside when a 50-yr-old woman came to vote instead of a 31-yr-old woman. When the agent objected she was scolded. This is hooliganism of TMC.” pic.twitter.com/2aTzFdWevc
— ANI (@ANI) April 29, 2021
TMC Maniktala candidate Sadhan Pande, nonetheless, alleged brokers of his social gathering had been overwhelmed up by the BJP cadres in a number of cubicles.
Long queues had been seen exterior most polling cubicles since early morning, elevating concern over the unfold of COVID-19 , even because the Election Commission assured that each one precautionary measures are in place.
West Bengal registered its highest single-day spike of 17,207 COVID-19 circumstances on Wednesday, whereas 77 extra individuals succumbed to the illness.
Over 84.77 lakh voters will resolve the political destiny of 283 candidates on this section.
Security measures have been heightened in view of the violence within the earlier phases, an EC official stated. The EC additionally used drone Surveillance on the Collin Institute below the 162 Chowrangee Assembly Constituency of North Kolkata Election District.
Drone Surveillance at Collin Institute below 162 Chowrangee Assembly Constituency of North Kolkata Election District.#WestBengalElections2021@ECISVEEP @SpokespersonECI @rajivkumarec @PIBKolkata pic.twitter.com/yy2a5XJZ44
— CEO West Bengal (@CEOWestBengal) April 29, 2021
The ballot panel has deployed 641 firms of central forces within the ultimate section to make sure honest voting. Security measures had been tightened on Thursday in view of the violence within the earlier phases, significantly the demise of 5 individuals in Cooch Behar within the fourth spherical of polling on 10 April, an election official informed PTI.
Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and newly-joined BJP chief Mithun Chakraborty had been among the many political leaders who solid their vote on Thursday.
The eight-phase elections to the 294-member West Bengal meeting started on 27 March. Votes will likely be counted on Sunday.
Exit polls for the Assembly election will likely be launched at 7.30 pm.
TMC raises ‘inadequacies’ in counting course of
Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy stated the social gathering has submitted a memorandum to the Election Commission, which highlights the “inadequacies” in its route for counting of votes on 2 May. The memorandum highlighted the dearth of a provision that seeks the submission of adverse RT-PCR take a look at stories by polling officers and CAPF personnel.
Trinamool Congress writes to Election Commission of India relating to ‘inadequacies’ in its route for counting of votes on May 2; says no provision has been made for submission of adverse RT-PCR take a look at by polling officers and CAPF personnel https://t.co/7UpL6lQiAO pic.twitter.com/hQt3HtrBGZ
— ANI (@ANI) April 29, 2021
“The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) said the arrangements are being made to have testing for everybody, but he has no instructions have been issued as far as central forces are concerned,” Roy stated.
The TMC’s letter got here a day after the EC introduced that candidates or their brokers is not going to be allowed inside counting halls with no adverse COVID-19 report.
In its newest tips issued on Wednesday for the counting of votes for Assembly polls in Assam, West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Puducherry on 2 May, the EC stated that candidates or their brokers is not going to be allowed inside counting halls with no adverse coronavirus report or with out having taken each doses of a COVID-19 vaccine inside 48 hours of the beginning of counting.
Issued amid spiralling coronavirus circumstances within the nation, the rules bar public gatherings exterior venues through the counting course of, however permit candidates to call a contemporary agent if the primary one exams optimistic for COVID-19 .
“The directions mandate submission of a negative test report of COVID-19 of election agent, counting agent and/or candidate prior to such election agent, counting agent and/or candidate being permitted to enter the counting hall. However, surprisingly no such provision has been made for submission of negative test report of COVID-19 by polling officers current within the counting halls,” the TMC stated in its letter.
“Further, 23,000-24,000 Central Armed Police Forces’ personnel will be deployed outside the counting hall(s) on 2 May, 2021. Shockingly, there is an absence of any provision in the directions for use of PPE kits and submission of negative test report of COVID-19 by such CAPF personnel thereby endangering their well being and life,” it stated.
The social gathering additional accused the ballot panel of being “oblivious” to the security of lifetime of the CAPF personnel.
With inputs from PTI