Kolkata, April 6, 2021: On the third phase of Assembly election in Bengal on Tuesday, chief minister Mamata Banerjee complained of ‘blatant’ misuse of Central forces. As many as 78,564,74 voters in 31 Assembly constituencies spread across three districts — South 24 Parganas, Hooghly and Howrah — went to polls on Tuesday.
Voter turnout 77.68 % in third phase of Assembly election in Bengal
As of 5:30 pm, according to the Election Commission voter turnout app, the state recorded a voter turnout of 77.68 percent in the third phase of Assembly election in Bengal.
highest turnout till 12 noon at 37.39 per cent, followed by Howrah district where 37.04 per cent polling was recorded in seven constituencies.
Long queues of voters, especially women, were seen at most of the polling stations. So far, voting has been peaceful barring a few instances of allegations and counter allegations between the Trinamool and the BJP.
Mamata accuses of misusing central forces in third phase of assembly election in Bengal
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee complained of blatant misuse of Central forces in the third phase of polling.
“The blatant misuse of Central forces continues unabated. Despite us repeatedly raising this issue, @ECISVEEP continues to be a mute spectator while men in uniform are being misused at several places to openly intimidate TMC voters & influence many to vote in favour of one party,” she tweeted.
In total, 205 candidates, including 13 females, from different political parties are in the fray in the third phase of polling. Prominent candidates among them are BJP leader Swapan Dasgupta, TMC minister Ashima Patra and CPI(M) leader Kanti Ganguly.
Violence and counter allegations
There were complaints of violence and voter intimidation both from the Trinamool and BJP camp. Trinamool claimed that their candidate from Arambagh, Sujata Mondal, was chased by BJP ‘goons’ at Hooghly’s Arandi 1 gram panchayat.
TMC Block President Palash Roy’s car was allegedly vandalised by BJP workers in Gourhati’s Arambagh.
Sujata happens to be the wife of BJP leader Saumitra Khan and had joined the Trinamool recently. The ruling party also alleged that their candidate from Khanakul in Hooghly, Munshi Najbul Karim, was beaten up by BJP supporters. The party is likely to lodge a complaint with the EC on Tuesday afternoon.
Earlier on Tuesday morning, the Election Commission suspended a sector officer after three EVMs and four VVPAT machines were found at Trinamool leader Goutam Ghosh’s residence. According to reports, sector officer Tapan Sarkar, who was in-charge of Sector 17 in the Uluberia seat, had spent the night at a relative’s house who happened to be Goutam Ghosh. The EVMs and VVPAT machines with Sarkar were part of the reserve stock. The commission has said that these EVMs won’t be used for voting on Tuesday.
A booth-level worker of the Trinamool Congress died on Tuesday after he was allegedly pushed at a polling booth during an altercation with some BJP workers in Goghat village in Hooghly district of West Bengal.
The BJP, however, denied the allegation. The deceased was identified as Sunil Roy.
This was the second death reported in the village in the election-related violence.
Earlier in the day, Adhabi Adak, the mother of a BJP worker died after she was attacked by unidentified assailants.