State reports over 60% polling in all 4 seats; bypoll passes off peacefully

State reports over 60% polling in all 4 seats; bypoll passes off peacefully

Kolkata/Dinhata: The bypolls in four Assembly segments in Bengal on Saturday passed off peacefully apart from a few stray incidents in Khardah leaving three youths including Kajal Sinha's son injured.

The youths including Sinha's son, whose untimely death resulted in holding the bypolls in the Assembly segment, were insulted allegedly by the BJP candidate Joy Saha calling them as "Bangladeshis".

Around 5 pm when the BJP candidate reached outside booth number 21 at Khardah's Ideal Academy and started claiming that there was gathering of "fake voters" from the neighbouring country. Protest against his remark by the local youths led to a chaos. Subsequently, Saha's security guards resorted to lathicharge leaving three of them injured. Central Force and state police intervened and brought the situation under control.

Sinha's son, Aryadip Sinha, was badly injured and admitted to a private hospital at Rahara in North 24-Parganas. TMC candidate Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay lodged a complaint in this regard with the returning officer. TMC also lodged a complaint with the EC in this regard. Sources said that the Election Commission has also ruled out the allegation of the presence of any Bangaldeshi national on the basis of initial report and also sought a detailed report in connection with the incident. In morning as well, the BJP candidate had chased a person claiming him to be a "fake voter". It led to a chaos at Khardah's Muragacha area. But his allegation turned baseless when the EC ruled out the allegation.

Khardah recorded 63.90 percent poll till 5 pm while it was 69.97 per cent, 76.14 per cent and 75.91 per cent in Dinhata, Santipur and Gosaba respectively with total 1016766 voters in the four Assembly segments. The poll percentage at 11 am was 28.73 per cent at Dinhata,32.31 at Santipur, 23.60 at Khardaha and 33.87 at Gosaba.

In Cooch Behar district on Saturday the BJP could not appoint polling agents in many booths this time.

The BJP claimed that the TMC had threatened BJP polling agents. Union minister Nisith Pramanik alleged that the BJP agents were threatened and were forced to vacate booths specially his booth.

Udayan Guha, TMC candidate, waved off these allegations and stated "BJP does not have any presence here nor do they have any organization. They failed to find polling agents to sit in the booths. How can TMC be blamed for that?"

Interestingly in the last assembly Pramanik courted controversy when he entered his booth 7/234 in Bhetaguri Chowpati High School accompanied by armed paramilitary persons and cast his vote. "We will lodge a complaint against this. It is a clear violation of the model code of conduct and an attempt to intimidate voters," added Guha.

The bypolls at Santipur, where TMC's Brajakishore Goswami was found confident of his win against BJP's Niranjan Biswas, passed off peacefully without report of any untoward incident.

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