Updated: December 19, 2021 5:02:48 pm
Amid sporadic incidents of violence, a relatively low voter turnout was recorded in the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) election till 9 am on Sunday. According to the West Bengal State Election Commission (WBSEC), around 52 per cent polling till 3 pm in Kolkata.
Since morning, however, complaints have been pouring in regarding polling agents being prevented from sitting in booths, candidates being prevented from entering polling stations, besides scuffle between contesting candidates.
Crude bomb hurled outside Taki High School
Incidents of violence have been reported across the city. Two people were injured after two crude bombs were hurled outside Taki High School in Sealdah area. Both TMC and Congress held each other responsible for the incident. Police said two crude bombs were hurled by unidentified miscreants.
In ward 22, TMC goons allegedly attacked BJP candidate Meena Devi Purohit. In ward 7, policemen allegedly prevented saffron party candidate Brajesh Jha from entering the booth. In central Kolkata, Congress candidate Santosh Pathak complained that the TMC sent fake voters to polling booths. In a large number of booths, the CPM alleged that their polling agents were driven out and their candidates prevented from entering the booths.
In most cases, the Opposition BJP, CPM and Congress trained their guns on TMC workers and goons, alleging that they masterminded the attacks. They also held the state police and Kolkata police responsible for their failure to prevent such incidents and remaining mute spectators.
After receiving various complaints, the State Election Commission directed the returning officer to take action over the incidents in ward 7 and ward 22 where the respective BJP candidates lodged complaints.
Voting is being held at 4,959 polling booths and will continue till 5 PM on Sunday. The counting of votes will take place on December 21.
Joint protest by BJP, Congress, TMC against alleged TMC rigging
A joint protest is being held by BJP, CPM and Congress workers and agents outside Bartala Police Station against alleged rigging by TMC. They have squatted outside the said police station and demanded action the culprits.
Meanwhile, CPM workers and polling agents staged a protest at Beliaghata Police Station after one of their female agents were allegedly thrashed by TMC polling agents. The polling agent was seen bleeding from her mouth. She had protested against false voting by TMC workers. Several other female CPM agents were also beaten up.
Clash breaks out between Congress, TMC workers at polling booth
A clash between workers and agents of Congress and Trinamool Congress broke out inside a polling booth at Jain School in Brabourne Road. Congress polling agent Amitava Chakraborty was beaten up by TMC workers. The incident took place in front of policemen who tried to pacify both the groups.
BJP plans state-wide protest against violence, alleged rigging
A BJP delegation will visit state election commission in the afternoon. They have decided to launch a statewide protest from 1 pm protesting against the violence, rigging and booth capturing by TMC.
CPM workers put up roadblock in Bagha Jatin area, claim their agents prevented from entering booth
The CPM workers and candidates put up a roadblock in Bagha Jatin area in the alleging that their agents were prevented from entering the booths.
To mark their protest, the CPM has decided to withdraw their candidates from ward 100, 101, 102 and 110.
23,000 police personnel deployed
Over 23,000 police personnel have been deployed for the election to 144 wards of the KMC. “We are ready to hold a peaceful election. We have the support of the state police force and attempts are being made to ensure that no untoward incident takes place,” said Kolkata Police Commissioner Soumen Mitra.
Officers of the force have been visiting hotels and guest houses in the metropolis to keep a tab on the number of guests who have checked-in and those due to arrive in the next two days, a senior police officer told the news agency.
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