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West Bengal bypolls: Violence reported in several areas; BJP blames TMC for intimidation, says their workers fired bullets and vandalised homes

Several reports of violence have been reported from the Ranaghat-Dakshin constituency in West Bengal’s Nadia district, where the house of a local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member was vandalised. The BJP has blamed the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC or TMC) workers for the vandalism even as by-polls in four assembly constituencies in the state which are underway on 10th July (Wednesday).

Ranjit Mondal, a BJP polling booth agent, charged that the accused fired bullets and damaged his residence on Wednesday morning. “The TMC wants to scare me as I am a polling agent of the BJP. I have lodged a complaint with the Election Commission over the attack,” he voiced.

Binoy Kumar Biswas who was fielded by the saffron party from Bagda the seat also confirmed the same and unveiled that the perpetrators were “sheltered by Trinamool Congress.” He mentioned, “The incident took place in the Purna Nagar area under Ranaghat police station in Nadia. Last night around 1:30 am, some miscreants broke into his house and vandalized part of it. Several bullets were also fired.”

An investigation is underway, according to a top police officer in the Nadia region and 26 persons have been detained about the incident. However, TMC refuted the accusations and the party’s Ranaghat-Dakshin candidate Mukut Mani Adhikari claimed, “There was one incident last night. The TMC was not involved. Today, I am canvassing the entire constituency and so far I have received no reports of violence. The polling is being held peacefully.”

Furthermore, Manas Kumar Ghosh, the BJP candidate for the Raiganj assembly constituency, informed that TMC members attempted to cause unrest in a few of the constituency’s booths during the by-elections. He also got into an altercation outside a voting place with some TMC members. and charged that the latter was attempting to scare off local voters. He stated, “Voting is being held smoothly. We want voters to exercise their franchise in a peaceful environment. The TMC is trying to create disturbances in some of the booths but we stopped them,” while talking to the journalists.

On Wednesday, Manoj Kumar Biswas, the BJP candidate for the Ranaghat Dakshin seat, also charged the ruling TMC with inciting chaos to impede voters from freely exercising their right to vote. He stated, “Ranaghat Dakshin is the BJP’s area. It has been proven again and again. There is tremendous enthusiasm among the voters. I am confident that in this election, voters will again make us win but the fact is that TMC, supported by the administration with criminal personnel, is trying to create a chaotic situation so that no voter comes to the voting centre. They are threatening our voters and workers. A free and fair election is not possible in West Bengal because the government does not want it.”

On 10th July, thirteen seats in seven states are scheduled to go to assembly by-elections. The constituencies of Maniktala, Ranaghat-Dakshin, Bagdah and Raiganj in West Bengal are also undergoing bypolls. Voting for these assembly by-polls, spanning seven states, began at seven in the morning. The result will be announced on 13th July and will determine the fate of multiple seasoned politicians and newcomers, including Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu’s wife Kamlesh Thakur. These elections, which are the first since the Lok Sabha elections, are to fill the vacancies in legislative assemblies left by the resignations or deaths of current members.

The constituencies going to by-polls include Raiganj, Ranaghat Dakshin, Bagda and Maniktala in West Bengal, Badrinath and Manglaur in Uttarakhand, Jalandhar West in Punjab, Dehra, Hamirpur and Nalagarh in Himachal Pradesh, Rupauli in Bihar, Vikravandi in Tamil Nadu and Amarwara in Madhya Pradesh.

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