Poll violence erupts in West Bengal's Barrackpore, bomb thrown at BJP camp
The Phase 5 of the Lok Sabha Elections began on a violent note in West Bengal on Monday. Clashes broke out in Barrackpore, at outskirts of state capital Kolkata, within first hour of polling. BJP candidate Arjun Singh was injured during the scuffle. The BJP alleges that Singh was attacked by Trinamool Congress workers in Mohanpur area. The BJP camp was also attacked by unidentified men. “I was attacked by Trinamool goons who have been brought from outside. Those people were scaring away our voters. I am injured,” Singh was quoted as by news agency ANI. Singh alleged that central forces were did nothing. On the other hand, the Trinamool supporters allege voting was peaceful until Singh entered the area in Mohanpur. The Election Commission has south report from North 24 Parganas district administration on the incident.
Singh, a four-time Trinamool Congress MLA, joined BJP just before the Lok Sabha Elections. Singh had claimed that about 100 Trinamool Congress MLAs would switch over to the saffron party "very soon". Singh, the former four-time Trinamool MLA from Bhatpara, switched to the Bharatiya Janata Party in March and was nominated as a BJP candidate from the Barrackpore Lok Sabha constituency. He is taking on two-time sitting MP and senior TMC leader Dinesh Trivedi.
The fourth phase of Lok Sabha elections was also marred by multiple incidents of clashes and violence in West Bengal, where an estimated 76.66 per cent of voters exercised their franchise in eight parliamentary constituencies. An electorate of 1,34,56,491 cast ballot to decide the fate of 68 candidates in Baharampur, Krishnagar, Ranaghat (SC), Burdwan East (SC), Burdwan-Durgapur, Asansol, Bolpur (SC) and Birbhum. Clashes broke out between supporters of rival parties in Nanoor, Rampurhat, Nalhati and Suri areas of Birbhum seat, leaving several people injured and disrupting the polling process for a quite some time.
Speaking to media, an official said, "Polling was peaceful in the first two hours. However, news of clashes started surfacing thereafter. We have sought reports from each of these places. Our officials are monitoring the situation and taking proper measures to conduct the election in a free and fair manner".
There were also reports of a clash between Trinamool Congress and BJP workers outside a booth in Barabani, following a tiff between sitting MP and BJP candidate in Asansol Babul Supriyo and polling officials inside the station. Supriyo’s vehicle was allegedly vandalised by Trinamool workers outside a polling station. Trinamool Congress workers, on the other hand, alleged that Supriyo and his men had manhandled them.