Kolkata: Sporadic violence was reported in the sixth phase of polling for 43 Assembly segments in four districts of West Bengal on Thursday. About 79.08% turnout was reported till 5.30 p.m, according to Election Commission sources.
In Bijpur, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and son of party national vice president Mukul Roy was reportedly seen leading a huge mob which ransacked Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) booth camps and beat up TM’ s polling agent in front of television cameras. In Amdanaga, TMC tried to thwart an Indian Secular Front candidate from entering a polling booth and allegedly even bombed his house.
Rampant usage of sharp weapons and crude bombs marked this phase also, with reports of violence in Nadia and Dinajpur districts also.
The Calcutta High Court on Thursday took strong exception to the incidents of violence and advised the Election Commission to do 10% of what former CEC, late TN Seshan had, else it would have to step in. “You have got police officers in your dispensation but it is failing to do the duty,” the court said with regard to arrangement for following corona protocol and poll violence.
Voting was held in 14,480 booths on Thursday and 1,071 companies of Central forces were pressed into service .
About 1.03 crore voters will decide the fate of the 306 candidates in the fray including that of CPI(M) leader Tanmoy Bhattacharya , BJP leader Mukul Roy , film star Koushani Mukhopadhya , former SFI State secretary Debojyoti, among others,
Among the four districts, Nadia registered the highest voter turnout of 82.67%, followed by Purba Bardhaman (82.15%), Uttar Dinajpur (77.76%) and North 24 Parganas (75.94%).
The state will witness two more phases of polling on April 26 and 29. Votes will be counted on May 2.