Sporadic violence marred the fouth phase of polling in West Bengal with clashes taking place between the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and BJP mainly in Asansol and Birhum Lok Sabha constituencies. The polling percentage stood at 76.59 at 7 pm.
Election Commission (EC) sources said that clashes took place between TMC and BJP in several areas of the Birbhum Lok Sabha seat such as Siuri, Nanoor, Rampoorhat and Nalhati. Although more than a dozen were injured on both sides, no fatalities were reported.
The situation almost got out of control when voters in Durrajpur area of the constituency pelted stones at the Central forces when they prevented them from entering a polling booth with mobile phones. The jawans deployed at the booth reportedly fired in the air to disperse the crowd.
At the Asansol Lok Sabha constituency, the vehicle of local BJP candidate and Union Minister Babul Supriyo was allegedly vandalised by TMC cadre. EC sources said the Minister had an argument with a polling officer inside a booth following which TMC cadre attacked his vehicle. Sources said EC has ordered an FIR against Supriyo for his altercation with the polling officer.
Voters fled from polling booth in fear at Asanol’s Jemua area due to vandalism by miscreants. The EC issued a show cause notice to BJP candidate from Birbhum constituency Dudh Kumar Mondal for entering a polling booth with a mobile phone. The concerned presiding officer was also removed following the incident.
Earlier in the day, BJP candidate from Krishnanagar constituency Kalyan Chaubey accused the TMC cadre of capturing several booths in the area. However, TMC candidate Mahua Moitra denied the allegation.
The EC had deployed over 580 companies of Central forces in the fourth phase of polling in Bengal in Baharampur, Krishnanagar, Ranaghat (SC), Burdwan-Durgapur, Asansol, Bolpur, Burdwan East (SC) and Birbhum. Central forces were deployed in about 98% of the polling booths.