March 28, 2021 3:19:47 am
Although the first phase of the Assembly polls was marred by sporadic incidents of violence, polling in the erstwhile Maoist stronghold of Jhargram was largely peaceful.
Under Jhargram district, polling was held for four Assembly seats: Jhargram, Gopiballavpur, Binpur and Nayagram. Total 144 companies of CRPF was deployed in this district.
At Benegeria Junior High School, voters complied with social distancing norms and used hand sanitiser before entering the polling booth. In a rare spectacle, kiosks of political parties distributing voter slips were set up in close proximity.
“Here we don’t fight with each other during elections. In this neighbourhood, our friends endorse political parties of their choice. They have set up kiosks. But there is no animosity. We share food and water,” said Mriganka Murmu, a TMC activist.
A few metres away, a BJP kiosk with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photograph was set up. “Let us fight in a democratic way. We do not want to strain our friendship because of one election,” said Gouranga Mahato, a BJP worker. A CPI(M) kiosk nearby was also seen distributing voter slips.
At Salboni Primary School, a heavy deployment of CRPF personnel was seen. Being close to the forest, CRPF personnel were deployed on the terrace of the school for vantage point. “We cannot allow you to take photographs here. This booth is very sensitive,” a CRPF jawan told The Sunday Express. A presiding officer at a school under Gopiballavpur Assembly segment said the voting was peaceful.
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