7th phase: Polls peacefully held at 4 South Kolkata seats with 60% turnout till 5pm
Kolkata: Voting in the four constituencies of South Kolkata—Kolkata Port, Rashbehari, Bhowanipore and Ballygunge—on Monday passed
off peacefully with the voting percentage recorded around 60 per cent till 5 pm.
However, the Central forces excesses were alleged at a number of places where Trinamool Congress (TMC) candidates were allegedly barred from entering polling booths. TMC candidate from Rashbehari Assembly constituency, Debashish Kumar, was stopped from entering the polling booths at Rajendra Vidyapith, Nava Nalanda and Arya Vidyamandir.
Kumar avoided argument or exchange of words with the Central forces and informed the Election Commission that even after carrying requisite proof of his candidature he was denied entry. Immediately after receiving such a complaint, state Chief Electoral Officer Aariz Aftab called up ADG (Law and Order) and instructed him to do the needful in this regard.
"Every candidate has the right to visit the polling booths in the constituency from which he /she is contesting. There are 291 polling booths in Rashbehari constituency. In a handful of booths, I was initially stopped but after waiting for some time, I was allowed to enter. In two to three booths, I was not allowed to enter. Am I standing at the mercy of the Central forces? I do not know under whose instructions such things are happening, but I am sure that the voters of this constituency will elect me from here," said Kumar.
TMC candidate from Bhowanipore, Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, also faced similar resistance from Central forces while he was entering Sri Sri Academy booth at Chetla. The TMC veteran took some time to explain to the force that he was the candidate and had the right to enter every polling booth under the Bhowanipore constituency. "I am sorry to say that even after so many phases of polls, similar things are happening. The forces continue to be ignorant that candidates should not be stopped from entering polling booths," added Chattopadhyay.
Congress candidate from Bhowanipore, Ashutosh Chattopadhyay, was also stopped from entering a polling booth. Meanwhile, TMC candidate from Kolkata Port Firhad Hakim alleged that Congress candidate Mohammad Mokhtar was snatching voter slips from people at Batikol area in Garden Reach. When one of the voters raised objections, he was allegedly slapped by Mokhtar. Hakim chased Mokhtar riding pillion on a scooter and then complained to local police. Mokhtar, however, denied such allegations.
BJP candidate from Ballygunge Loknath Chattopadhyay picked up an argument with cops from Ballygunge police station after the saffron party's Mondal president Nepal Mondal was picked up as part of a preventive arrest.
Mohan Rao, the agent of BJP nominee Subrata Saha of Bhowanipore, was detained by the police after allegations of misbehaviour against women voters at the polling booth in Bidya Bharati School in New Alipore were raised.
Former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee failed to cast his votes this year due to ill health.