KOLKATA: Stray incidents of violence between supporters of the BJP and Trinamool Congress marked the eighth and the final phase of the Assembly elections in West Bengal on Thursday. The state recorded 76.07 per cent voter turnout till 5 pm.
Anirban Ganguly, the BJP's candidate in Bolpur in Birbhum district was chased away when he went to Ilambazar area. Villagers, armed with sticks and bricks, were seen running after him. His vehicle was vandalized. "I went to Ilambazar after receiving complaints that TMC’s goons were not allowing our supporters to go to the booths," he said.
TMC candidate from Birbhum and state minister Chandranath Sinha rubbished Ganguly's allegations and said villagers drove him away as the BJP candidate was trying to influence the voters. "Wherever he (Ganguly) went, people came out in protest as he tried influencing them. He is the one who actually attempted to disrupt peace. Polling, otherwise, has been very peaceful in Bolpur," Sinha said.
In Kolkata's Beleghata area, supporters of the TMC and the BJP attacked each other with bricks and glass bottles. Three persons were injured. Violence were also reported from other parts of the state. In Jalangi constituency in Murshidabad, clashes broke out between the supporters of TMC and CPM.
Six TMC supporters, including three women, were injured when CPM supporters allegedly opened fire. Clashes broke out between the supporters of the TMC on one side and those of CPM and the Indian Secular Force (ISF) on the other. Three people were injured in the clashes.
In Hariharpara constituency, Murshidabad, Congress supporters alleged that the activists of the ruling party attacked their supporters when they were going to the polling booths. Voting was held in 11,860 polling stations of the 35 constituencies 11 each in Murshidabad and Birbhum, six in Malda, and seven in north Kolkata, the sources said. The poll panel deployed 641 companies of central forces in the final phase.