Kolkata:Like the first two phases, the third of the eight-phase West Bengal Assembly election recorded a heavy turnout of 84.21 per cent on Tuesday.
Sporadic violence was reported and some candidates were attacked during this phase of polling, which, however, was by and large peaceful.BJP demanded independent inquiry from EC after EVMs found in TMC candidate's house.
BJP leader and in-charge of West Bengal Amit Malvia accused the ruling TMC of attempting to rig the poll and stealing the EVMs."EVMs found in TMC leaders house in Uluberia Uttar, Howrah district," Mr Malvia tweeted.
Commenting on EVMs and VVPAT found at TMC leader's house, Congress state president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary said that in West Bengal, the administration conducts polls in favour of the ruling party.
"That is why, in last Panchayat polls in West Bengal, 34 per cent of voters couldn't vote. It resulted in an unopposed victory of the ruling party on 20,000 seats," he said.
Many voters at a polling booth in Diamond Harbour constituency claimed that TMC workers didn't let them vote. "Officials came here but didn't facilitate voting for us," said a woman.Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee alleged "blatant misuse" of central forces to "influence voters".
"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.TMC worker Sunil Roy died in violence in Hooghly district.
Samiran Mitra, BJP candidate from Hooghly alleges three BJP workers beaten up at Sipaigachi in Haripal of Hooghly.Senior TMC leader and Rajya Sabha member Derek O Brien wrote a letter to Chief Electoral Officer, West Bengal regarding 'Gruesome sexual assault on minor girl by CRPF jawan in AC 198-Tarakeshwar, Hooghly'.
Clashes broke out between police and the BJP workers at Dubrajpur in Birbhum district on Tuesday, over the death of a party worker. The police use tear gas and lathi-charge to disperse the crowd, resulting in injuries to many protestors and policemen.
A large crowd engaged in a clash with the police in the poll-bound region, forcing the cops to take action against them. The BJP workers claimed that Patihar Dome, BJP Booth Vice-President allegedly murdered by TMC Goons at Dubrajpur.
A BJP supporter was today arrested for allegedly assaulting a TMC candidate at Khanakul seat in the Hooghly when he arrived at a booth after hearing the voters were not allowed to move near the polling booth.
Munshi Nazimul Karim said he was assaulted with bamboo sticks by the BJP activists, who in turn alleged that the candidate came with his followers to create trouble in the peaceful polling process.
The TMC candidate informed the EC and if the central forces had arrived on time he could have been saved from the assault.
Sujata Mondal, who is contesting the elections from Arambagh, said saffron party men chased her and hit her on the head when she was out visiting polling booths in Arandi area of the constituency, after having received reports that "voters were not being allowed to exercise their franchise".
"My bodyguards saved my life... I came to know that BJP members were thwarting people from casting their votes in Arandi. I went there to find out what went wrong. I was assaulted, hit with bamboo sticks by saffron party men," Mondal, estranged wife of BJP MP Saumitra Khan, said.
Her rival and BJP candidate Madhusudhan Bag, when contacted, stated that no one from his party attacked Mondal.
"It was the villagers who put up a resistance when the TMC leader tried intimidating them," Bag said. A section of villagers also claimed that Ms Mondal had threatened them with dire consequences if they "visit polling booths to cast their vote".
According to police sources, one of Ms Mondal's security guards had brought out his revolver to resist the attackers from chasing the TMC candidate.
The Trinamool Congress had filed a complaint with the Elections Commission against the alleged attack on its candidate Sujata Mondal, following her clash with villagers and BJP workers in Arambagh, Hooghly.
The TMC has accused BJP 'goons' of harassing Ms Mondal, while the CRPF forces deployed in the region watched the incident as 'mute spectators. The TMC has sought action from the EC over the incident.
Assam records 78.94 pc voter turnout till 6 pm in last phase of elections
Guwahati:Assam recorded a voter turnout of 78.94 per cent till 6 pm the stipulated time of the polling for the last and final phase of the elections in the state.However, the long queues were still witnessed in many polling stations, where voting is underway.
As per the ECI guidelines that voters will be allowed to exercise their franchise once they get into the campus of the polling station.Barring few stray incidents of EVM malfunctioning, an incident where EVM was being escorted without security in Lower Assam’s Barpeta district, voting remained more or less peaceful.
In the last phase, 40 assembly segments went into polls in 12 districts of Assam including the capital town of Assam Guwahati.Voting for the third and final phase of Assam elections commenced at 7 am with voters queuing up many polling centres to cast their votes at the crack of the dawn.
A total of 79, 19,641 voters will decide the fate of 337 candidates in the 40 assembly segments spread over the 12 districts in Lower Assam.Four constituencies of the capital town Guwahati is also going to polls in the final phase of elections. There are six seats reserved for STs and two for SCs.
There are 25 women candidates in the fray.Of the 79,19,641 voters, who are illegible to vote in phase III, 40,11,539 are males, 39,07,963 females and 139 transgenders.
The constituency having the highest number of electors in Phase-3 is Dispur with 607 polling booths having 4, 11,636 electors.The constituency having the lowest number of electors in Phase-III is Chapaguri in Baksa with 236 polling stations having 1, 59,257 voters.
The fate of many politicians including BJP’ star campaigner Himanta Biswa Sarma who is contesting from Jalukbari will get sealed in the ballot box.
Others who are in the fray include Chandra Mohan Patowary from Dharampur, Siddhartha Bhattacharya from Gauhati East, Asom Gana Parishad’s Phanibhushan Choudhury from Bongaigaon, BJP state chief Ranjeet Kumar Dass from Patacharkuchi, Pramila Rani Brahma from Kokrajhar-East and Kokrajhar MP Naba Sarania from Barama.
The fate of 20 sitting MLAs, including eight from the Congress, five from the BJP, three each from the AIUDF and BPF and one from AGP, will be decided in the final phase.(UNI)