Indian Express

TMC captured booths in Cooch Behar, says Left; demands re-poll

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As the first phase of Lok Sabha elections began Thursday, reports of TMC activists threatening and assaulting polling agents of other parties began spreading. As the first phase of Lok Sabha elections began Thursday, reports of TMC activists threatening and assaulting polling agents of other parties began spreading.

Accusing the Trinamool Congress of “unleashing terror” and “not allowing thousands of voters to cast votes”, the Left Front on Thursday asked the Election Commission to hold the polling again at over hundred booths in Cooch Behar parliamentary seat.

As the first phase of Lok Sabha elections began Thursday, reports of TMC activists threatening and assaulting polling agents of other parties began spreading. Later, Forward Bloc MLA Udayn Guha and party candidate from Cooch Behar, Dipak Roy, approached the EC demanding that polls in the area be held again while staging a dharna outside the District Magistrate’s office. Shortly after, a consortium of Left Front leaders lodged a written complaint with the West Bengal Chief Election Officer, Sunil Kumar Gupta.

Senior CPM leader Rabin Deb confirmed that the demand has been put before the EC to conduct re-polling at 116 booths in Cooch Behar and 55 booths in Tufanganj area of the Alipurduar seat as “the ruling party has rigged the polls” by “capturing booths”.

MLA Guha also claimed that there were no central forces deployed at the polling booths in \Sitalkuchi, Natabari and south assembly segment of the Cooch Behar seat even after the EC had assured of the presence of central forces at all polling stations.

Reacting to the allegations, Renuka Sinha, TMC’s Cooch Behar candidate, said the Left Front failed to provide polling agents at various places. “As they (Left parties) felt they won’t win the election, they have asked for re-polling.” Sinha went on to say that it is not the state government’s duty but that of the EC to deploy central forces. “If anything happens because of the non-deployment of central forces, the Election Commission will be responsible for it,” she said.

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