Violence has been reported in West Bengal in the two constituencies, Cooch Behar and Alipurduar, that has gone to polls in the first phase of the elections. Allegations have been flying and TMC and BJP have both accused each other of attacking workers of the opposite faction and preventing voters from registering their votes.
In certain booths, only TMC agents were present in clear violation of rules and regulations. The BJP has alleged that their agents were threatened the previous night and their homes were attacked. A BJP camp office has been attacked as well.
The Election Commission is being criticized for failing to secure a conducive environment for polling to occur. Only 40% of the polling booths have central forces while the remaining are being manned by the state police. Great violence has been reported in those booths where the state police is ruling the roost. It appears the Election Commission ought to have concerned themselves more with Bengal than Vivek Oberoi’s movie.
The state police have been accused of being hand-in-glove with the state government. A Policeman, speaking to ABP Ananda, said that he was scared by the extent of violence that had ensued and did not know how he would return home himself. It has been claimed that not only the Police but polling officers are in collusion with the TMC as well.
Only 3 days ago, Anubrata Mondal of the TMC had appealed to the EC that he may be allowed to rig elections. Every faction appears to be pointing their guns at the EC which is inaccessible they claim. They allege that their complaints are not being heard, their phone calls are not being received. And officers of the State Election Commission have disappeared into thin air it is being claimed.
Meanwhile, polling at booths where central forces have been deployed has been remarkably peaceful, in stark contrast where the state police is manning the booths. Regardless of who wins the two seats, and the TMC does appear to have a certain edge, the results will be marred by the allegations being levelled against the Election Commission.