Polls in Asansol were by and large peaceful except stray incidents of violence allegedly TMC “workers and supporters. In the morning, CPM agent of booth number 235 at Jamuria, Angad Bauri was allegedly abducted by TMC workers. They were also accused of assaulting a physically challenged voter at Bangalpara in Asansol. Manda Budhakar, 24, was standing in a queue with her husband at booth number 137 in Notundanga when she was allegedly heckled by TMC workers. At Manteshwar, Mahishila, TMC supporters started chanting slogans against BJP candidate Babul Supriyo as he was interacting with voters. “TMC is nervous. They are looking at ways to stop the BJP wave, which they see is looming large. These don’t bother me,” Supriyo said.
TMC candidate Dola Sen said she admired Supriyo’s singing abilities, but has been dragged into politics by the BJP. “I adore his singing and I want him to become a better singer but that will not fetch him votes. He is new in politics and does not know that distributing toffees at the queue outside polling booths is also a violation of MCC,” Sen said and added it was not a four-cornered fight as the media was pitching it to be. “It is a fight between TMC, which is a pro-people party, and all other parties forming an anti-people group,” she said. CPM candidate Bansa Gopal Chowdhury alleged the ruling party had resorted to massive rigging and booth capturing. “At Jamuria and Pandaveswar, they had captured at least 12 and 2 booths. Polling agents of other parties are being beaten up and voters are being forced to cast their votes in favour of TMC. Returning officer of Asansol, Amit Dutta said cops had to resort to a mild lathi charge at Burnpur Boys School, Asansol to disperse the crowd comprising CPM and TMC supporters who had engaged in an altercation.
He said they had received complaints from all the political parties. “The CPIM had put in 150 complaints, Congress 10, BJP 40 and TMC 15. Following up those, four persons were arrested,” he said. He added at 6 pm, the turnout of voters stood at 77.1 per cent.
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