On the eve of the last phase of elections in West Bengal, incidents of violence at several places have thrown a challenge before the Election Commission in conducting free, fair and peaceful elections in the 17 parliamentary constituencies that will vote on Monday.
Five persons were arrested on Sunday for reportedly vandalising CPM office last night, leaving seven of its leaders injured. Of the five held —all got bail within few hours after the arrest — two have been named in the FIR. Central forces have been deployed to prevent any further trouble in the area.
The CPM party office in Belgharia was attacked allegedly by TMC-backed goons. Two zonal committee members of CPM were attacked. Soon after the attack, CPM leader Gautam Deb issued warnings that party supporters would block the BT road if those responsible for the attacks were not arrested by 9 am today.
State Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s car was stopped at Manikhar by TMC supporters led by their leader Humayun Kabir for over two hours. Chowdhury was rescued after the police intervened. “The TMC is all set to capture booths here and we anticipate trouble here tomorrow. In spite of all the assurances by the EC, it has been, so far, nothing more than a toothless tiger,” Chowdhury said.
Reports of TMC supporters launching an attack also came from Cossipore.
Special Observer Sudhir Kumar Rakesh said the Commission took prompt action to stop all incidents of violence. “The DMs have been told to keep the control room open throughout the night and asked to report any untoward incident,” Rakesh said.