KOLKATA: The fifth-phase of West Bengal Assembly elections witnessed sporadic violence on Saturday. A Trinamool Congress supporter was injured when an alleged BJP worker opened fire in Shantipur Assembly constituency in Nadia district. Till 5 pm, 78.36 per cent voting was recorded. The highest 81.73 per cent of turnout was registered in Jalpaiguri district, followed by Purba Bardhaman (81.72 per cent), Nadia (81.57 per cent), North 24 Parganas (74.83 per cent), Darjeeling (74.31 per cent) and Kalimpong (69.56 per cent), EC officials said.
In Chakdah constituency, an independent candidate was seen walking with an improvised firearm in front of police personnel. He finally dropped the weapon alleging that a TMC worker hurled the firearm at him and he was walking towards the police officials to handover the weapon.
In Bidhannagar constituency, where two incumbent MLAs, Trinamool’s Sujit Bose and BJP’s Sabsyachi Dutta, who defected to the saffron camp from the ruling party, are contesting, a pitched battle between the supporters of the two rival groups broke out. Both the groups scuffled and pelted stones at each other. Dutta’s followers alleged that TMC supporters were blocking the electorate residing in Shantinagar area from casting their votes, while the ruling party’s activists accused their rivals of bringing outsiders to polling booths. In Gayeshpur in Kalyani constituency, a BJP supporter was injured when a crude bomb exploded. In protest, the supporters of the saffron camp put up roadblocks in the area.
The residents of a village in Deganga constituency alleged that personnel of central forces opened fire in the air when they spotted them sitting in a mango grove, around 500 metre from the nearest polling booth. Sources in the Election Commission, however, said there was no incident of firing in the air by the central forces personnel.
BJP’s candidate in Kamarhati constituency, Raju Banerjee was injured when some TMC supporters hurled bricks targeting his vehicle.
He received cuts on his hands and the windshield of his car was smashed.BJP’s vice president in West Bengal Jay Prakash Majumdar said the election was overall peaceful other than a few incidents of violence.
TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh alleged the supporters of the BJP intimidated TMC cadres at many places and the central forces stood as mute spectators. The CPI(M) raised allegation of terror spread by both BJP and TMC supporters so that its voters could not turn up at the polling booths.