Bengal’s Panchayat polls begin with Mamata’s minister publicly thrashing a BJP supporter

The single phase Panchayat polls in West Bengal commenced on Monday and soon courted a controversy after news of serious violence started to emerge. We have already reported how two CPM workers were already set ablaze by alleged TMC workers and violence was reported from Asansol and Bhangar.

As reported by Zee News, within a short period of a few hours, two people have been killed and about 20 injured. The media too has been targeted in the violence, with one of its vans getting torched. To add to the violence, A BJP worker has been seriously injured in a knife attack by alleged TMC workers, in the state’s Bilkanda region.

The culpability of ruling TMC has been alleged by the opposition parties, which might be bolstered by reports of more than 100 bombs being discovered from a TMC leader’s house in Bhangar.

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Now visuals too have started to emerge from the state, one of which shows TMC Minister Rabindra Nath Ghosh slapping a BJP worker at a Cooch Bihar polling booth, while the police stood as bystanders. The BJP worker has been identified as Sujit Kumar Das:

Since then Rabindra Nath has “defended” his actions by alleging that the BJP worker trying to run away with the ballot box.

Such an assault by Rabindra Nath Ghosh though may not surprise many, owing to his history of committing similar crimes. It was reported in March how Rabindra Nath was found threatening BJP workers that he would break the whole face of BJP’s state president. Besides this, he has earlier been caught on camera abusing a bank official.

It seems that TMC workers have decided to go toe to toe with Ministers in getting caught in controversial positions.

As seen in similar videos uploaded by ANI, TMC workers are supposedly barring locals from entering into polling booths to cast their votes in Birpara. The video shows a sizeable number of TMC workers trying to chase away what looks like three voters:

Possibly owing to the electoral malpractices being committed during the polls, locals in Bhangar have decided to protest against TMC’s alleged booth capturing by creating a roadblock:

In light of the violence, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has issued an “appeal for peace”, it remains to be seen how obeying her party workers are in this regard, and whether she would take concrete against those who fail to follow her “appeal”.

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