On Tuesday, 6th of April, polling began in the third phase of the Assembly elections in the state in 31 seats across three districts – South 24 Parganas, Howrah, and Hooghly. Uluberia, which is a municipality of Howrah district was marred in controversy, however, just a night before it went to polling.
As the Uluberia North Constituency was gearing up to go into polling, EVM and VVPAT machines were found at TMC leader Gautam Ghosh’s residence at Tulsiberia last night (Monday). The incident came to light after a ‘Sector 17’ election duty car was found parked outside the TMC leader’s house.
The visuals of the election duty car and police recovering the machines from the leaders’ house have gone viral on social media.
4 EVMs, VV PAT recovered from a TMC leader, Goutam Ghosh’s house at Uluberia in Howrah district. pic.twitter.com/XcTy1FTMh6— Urvi kar (@kar_urvi) April 6, 2021
The EVMs and VVPATs were brought to the residence of the TMC leader by Tapan Sarkar, a sector officer, in an election duty car. The sector officer who was caught red-handed by the villagers claimed that since it was very late in the night, the central forces had slept off and refused to open the booth so they had to stay at a relative’s house to sleep which ‘happened to be a TMC leader’.
It is being reported that the EVMs and VVPATs found with TMC leader Sarkar were a part of reserve stock and will not be used for voting, informed Election Commission.
Sector Officer Tapan Sarkar (in charge of Sector 17 in Uluberia seat) had spent the night at a relative’s house who happened to be Goutam Ghosh.— Ritika Chopra (@KhurafatiChopra) April 6, 2021
The EVMs & VVPAT machines with Sarkar were part of the reserve stock. EC says they will not be used for voting today. @IndianExpress
Reportedly, after the EVM and VVPAT machines were found at the residence the TMC leader, the presiding officer has been suspended by the Election Commission for storing the machines at the residence of Goutam Ghosh.
A Presiding Officer suspended by EC for keeping three sets of EVM and VVPAT in the residence of a TMC supporter #WestBengalElections2021 news and updates: https://t.co/rhjbLeY1o2 #ElectionsWithET pic.twitter.com/Nyv2wzLNpf— Economic Times (@EconomicTimes) April 6, 2021
Widespread tension was reported in the area after the VVPAT and EVM machines were found at the TMC leader’s house and the police had to resort to lathi-charge to disperse the crowd.
The third phase of polling is set to take place in West Bengal today, when 31 seats across three districts — South 24 Parganas, Howrah, and Hooghly — go into polls. Uluberia Uttar happens to be one of the seats to go into polling today along with Uluberia Dakshin, Shyampur, Bagnan, Amta, Udaynarayanpur, Jagatballavpur. The TMC and the BJP continue to be at loggerheads with both the parties contesting on all 31 assembly seats.
The second phase of polling in West Bengal witnessed several cases of violence emerging from Nandigram, East Midnapore and Keshpur. BJP leader and Mamata Banerjee’s opponent, Suvendu Adhikari’s convoy was also attacked by alleged TMC goons in Nandigram.
Nandigram में Suvendu Adhikari के Convoy पर पथराव; IndiaTV के रिपोर्टर, कैमरामैन जख्मी pic.twitter.com/5F5AN75tGg— India TV (@indiatvnews) April 1, 2021
While Adhikari escaped unhurt, the media convoy trailing his car was also attacked with stones and bricks which left a few media officials injured.