One person was killed and several others injured with gunshot wounds and bomb splinters as polls to 90 municipalities and one municipal corporation concluded Saturday but State Election Commissioner (SEC) Susanta Ranjan Upadhyaya refused to adjudge the day’s happenings.
“I am not a social scientist and it is not my duty to set any social parameter about what is peaceful and what isn’t,” Upadhyaya said.
The SEC said he doesn’t want to make any “controversial statement”.
Soon after the conclusion of first phase of the polls for Kolkata Municipal Corporation on April 18, Upadhayay had said: “with so many complaints, how can I describe the polls peaceful?” However, Chief Minister Mamata Bannerje had Friday lauded the state administration saying, “I have never seen such a peaceful election. I am the (state) Home minister. You cannot show me a single instance where there was bloodshed and vote loot during the poll”.
Upadhayay, however, admitted Saturday to have received about 100 complaints of violence throughout the day.
“Most of the complaints came from municipalities in North-24 Parganas district including Titagarh, Madhyamgram, Barrackpore, Kanchrapara, Basirhat Katwa, Bansberia, Rishra, Serampore, Bankura and Sonamukhi. Complaints also poured in from South-24 Parganas district’s Maheshtala, Rajpur-Sonarpur municipalities,” Upadhyaya told the reporters.
He said there had been complaints of gunfire at four places – Ward 14 of Katwa municipality, Ward 33 of Chandannagar municipality, Ward 35 of Bhatpara municipality and Ward 13 of Basirhat municipality.
“I must say I have not received any complaints from Jalpaiguri, North and South Dinajpore, Murshidabad, Malda, and East and West Midnapore districts,” he added.
On deployment of Central forces, he said it was not his decision. “I had asked for Central forces for deployment at North and South-24 Parganas, Hooghly and Siliguri. The Centre sent forces with a rider that they would not be posted inside polling stations,” he said.
Upadhyaya said that whatever complaint they got, had been forwarded to concerned district magistrates and SPs. He said a decision on repoll at any of the booths will be taken only after receiving reports from the DMs.