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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Widespread rigging in Kolkata civic polls; judiciary had refused central forces deployment

Though Trinamool Congress made some bold claims to make this election free from rigging and violence, but at the end of the day the information trickling down shows that the party’s hierarchy hardly had any control on the lower rung of the party order.

On Saturday even All India Trinamool Congress General Secretary and effectively the party’s second-in-command Abhishek Banerjee had said, “There will be free and fair polls and the polls will not be rigged. If it is proved that any Trinamool Congress men are involved in any kind of illegal activities, then strict action will be taken within 24 hours and exemplary punishment will be meted out”.

Though state election commissioner Sourav Das said that the election was peaceful with only two incidents but according to information available there were nearly 500 complaints and 195 arrests on Sunday. This itself speaks of the nature of violence the city experienced all through the day.

The BJP alleged that their agents were not allowed to sit in the booths and most of the BJP voters were threatened the previous night so that they don’t go to vote. When asked about it, Banerjee said, “If BJP doesn’t get polling agents, then how can Trinamool Congress be responsible for that. People have come to understand the difference between BJP and Trinamool Congress”.

“If anyone can prove that Trinamool Congress supporters were involved in any kind of violence we will take action within 24 hours,” he added.

The series of complaints started from the morning when Tanushree Mondal – the Left Front candidate of Ward no – 110 alleged that her agents were not allowed to sit. There were allegations of fake voters from booth Wards no 1 to 8. The Congress alleged illegal gathering in different booths of Wards no – 102, 109 and 110.

In Jorabagan, BJP candidate Meena Devi Purohit accused Trinamool Congress supporters of harassment. Purohit even alleged that she was physically assaulted. The BJP alleged several cases of booth-jamming and threatening of the voters in several areas in Metiabruz.

The incidents of violence peaked at 10 a.m. in the morning when some youths on motorbikes came in front of Khanna school and started hurling bombs. Three persons were injured in the incident. The opposition alleged that polling was going on peacefully at Khanna school but sensing a problem Trinamool wanted to disrupt the polling process. However, the ruling party refuted the allegations.

Opposition leader Suvendu Adhikari met state election commissioner Sourav Das after the election and lodged complaints regarding the widespread violence during the elections all through the day.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)

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