Over 76 per cent of the electorate in Uluberia Lok Sabha constituency and 75 per cent in Noapara Assembly constituency cast their vote till 5 pm in bypolls held on Monday. “The polling process was completely peaceful. No major violence or any untoward incident was reported,” said an election commission official.
The BJP, however, alleged that its party office was ransacked and its workers injured by Trinamool Congress workers at Gangarampur, Uluberia, and demanded repoll in several booths of both constituencies. “The TMC indulged in booth-capturing and rigging today. Our workers at Gangarampur were beaten up by TMC workers in the presence of police. Four of our workers were arrested despite being targeted by TMC workers.
In Noapara, TMC indulged in vote-looting and did not allow the voters to exercise their franchise. We have demanded repoll in a large number of booths in both constituencies,” said state BJP president Dilip Ghosh. He also accused that state administration of not utilising CRPF personnel effectively.
Thirty-six companies of CRPF were deployed during the bypolls. BJP workers later put a road blockade at Gangarampur, which was later lifted by police. The CPM too alleged that several booths in both constituencies were captured by ruling party activists and that its polling agents were driven out of booths.
TMC Howrah district president Arup Roy denied the allegations. Speaking to The Indian Express, he said, “Why would we attack BJP workers when they have no presence in Uluberia? This is a baseless allegation. It is just an excuse to hide their inability to field their polling agents at every booth.” Counting of votes will be held on February 1.