West Bengal, Assam vote in phase-II polls

West Bengal, Assam vote in phase-II polls
Mamata calls Governor to complain about the situation, outside a polling booth in Nandigram, Thursday.
NEW DELHI, APR 1 | Publish Date: 4/1/2021 12:50:02 PM IST

A large voter turnout of more than 80 per cent despite sporadic incidents of violence and allegations of vote fraud on Thursday marked the second phase of West Bengal assembly polls.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee accused central forces deployed in Nandigram constituency, where she is locked in battle with her former lieutenant, Suvendu Adhikari now with the BJP, of helping the saffron party under instructions from Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

“The CRPF, BSF are acting under the instructions of Home Minister Amit Shah....they are only helping the BJP,” she told reporters outside the polling station.

Allegations of booth capturing and partisan behaviour prompted the Election Commission to seek a report on an incident in Boyal village where the feisty TMC boss stayed put for more than two hours outside a polling booth following a siege of sorts by BJP supporters.

Banerjee slammed the Election Commission for not taking any action despite lodging 63 complaints and threatened to move court over it. Amongst the complaints were allegations of “booth capturing” and “massive fake voting” in Boyal.

The area saw a face-off between TMC and BJP supporters who gave vent at each other with slogans of “Khela Hobe” and “Jai Shri Ram”.

Stones were hurled and abuses traded, prompting the administration to rush a police contingent to the spot. Banerjee also rang up West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar to complain about the situation.

Despite the violence and accusations of vote fraud in Nandigram, the TMC supremo said she was confident of victory.

TMC leadership also complained of “terror unleashed by the Central forces in favour of the BJP” in the Nandigram constituency, which recorded 80.79 per cent polling till 5 pm.

While her rival Adhikari said, “It has become her habit to insult people of Nandigram.  The people of Nandigram will not forget this insult. Mamata Begum (Mamata Banerjee) will be defeated.”

Suvendu Adhikari’s car too was attacked twice at - Takapura and Satengabari - and stones were pelted while he was visiting booths in the assembly constituency.

77.21 per cent voter turnout  in Assam
GUWAHATI, APR 1 (PTI): An estimated 77.21 per cent of the 73.45 lakh voters exercised their franchise on Thursday during the second phase of polling, in which at least three persons were injured in firing by PSOs of deputy speaker Aminul Haque Laskar in Sonai constituency.
Voting took place in 39 constituencies to decide the fate of 345 candidates including five ministers.
Meanwhile, three persons were injured in firing by body guards of Laskar after clash broke out between supporters of BJP and AIUDF at Sonai, Cachar district.
Chief Electoral Officer of Assam said they will be able to comment only after a detailed report is received from the Returning Officer.
Elections to the 126-assembly constituencies in the state are being held in three phases with 79.97 per cent of the electorate exercising their franchise in 47 constituencies in the first phase on March 27.
The third and final phase elections will be held on April 6 for 40 seats. Results will come on May 2.

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