The Bharatiya Janata Party yesterday demanded re-polling in West Bengal where violence had taken place during all phases of the Lok Sabha polls.
A BJP delegation met top Election Commission officials in New Delhi seeking re-election. The delegation also demanded that central forces be deployed in the eastern state till the model code of conduct is in force.
“We have met the Election Commissioners and informed them about the violence that had taken place in all the seven phases of the Lok Sabha polls and requested for re-polling in all the violence-affected constituencies,” Railways Minister Piyush Goyal told reporters after the meeting.
He was accompanied by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and other senior BJP leaders.
Accusing West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of threatening BJP candidates, poll agents and party sympathisers, Goyal urged the EC to take cognisance of the matter.
“Incidents of violence took place till the last phase of polling. There is possibility of violence even after counting of votes. So, we have requested the Commission to deploy the central forces in Electronic Voting Machine strongrooms till the end of counting to allow free and fair counting,” Goyal said.
The senior BJP leaders also appealed to the poll panel to ensure the sanctity of the counting process in Odisha, Karnataka, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
“Independent observers must be sent in these states and CCTV cameras must be installed in all counting stations in the five states,” he said.
In Kolkata, police said several people were injured in post-poll clashes between political parties in two districts of West Bengal.
Many polling agents of opposition parties were beaten up, and homes and vehicles of many activists were attacked after voting on Sunday in nine constituencies in the last and seventh phase of Lok Sabha polls and by-elections to four assembly seats.
Two BJP workers – Chandal Mondal and Nantu Bera of the Sagar assembly segment under the Mathurapur Lok Sabha constituency – were admitted to Sagar Gramin Hospital after they were attacked allegedly by the Trinamool Congress workers on Sunday night.
The father of BJP worker in the Dum Dum area was stabbed allegedly by Trinamool supporters, said a local BJP leader.
The homes of three BJP activists at Gosaba in the Jaynagar Lok Sabha constituency were attacked after the end of voting on Sunday. “Some Trinamool supporters damaged houses of our two activists on Sunday, and that of another workers today,” a local BJP leader said.
A clash between the Trinamool and the BJP workers broke out yesterday in Habra’s Kultala area of the Barasat Lok Sabha constituency after a BJP polling agent was beaten up.
The Trinamool, however, accused BJP’s local leaders of attacking the car of the party’s panchayat leader on Sunday.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) in north Kolkata also accused Trinamool workers of beating up their polling agents yesterday.
A Trinamool office was ransacked and at least 12 people were injured in a scuffle between two groups of activists in the Maniktala area under the north Kolkata. They accused each other of bringing outsiders during the vote on Sunday.
“We don’t believe in violence and have asked them (activists) to stay calm. A clash erupted due to ego problems among some booth-level workers,” state minister Sadhan Pandey said.
Residents of Bhatpara in North 24 Parganas staged several protests against violent clashes during the by-election on Sunday.
Train services on the Sealdah-Krishnanagar division were disrupted for two-and-a-half hours after hundreds of residents squatted on the tracks at Kankinara station, protesting against the clashes.
The BJP supporters too protested at the Jaggadal police station, accusing security personnel of not being active in providing security to locals.
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