BJP workers were seen distributing masks to voters at one of the polling booths on Thursday in the high-profile Nandigram constituency amidst polling in the second phase of the West Bengal assembly elections. The TMC alleged that the BJP was distributing masks within 100 meters of the polling booth violating the Election Commission’s guidelines. The incident took place at booth number 265 at Sonachura in Nandigram.
The local BJP leadership, however, has claimed that voters are being given masks to avoid the spread of coronavirus. The Election Commission has already assigned ASHA staff to provide masks to voters at the polling booth. The TMC alleged that despite the complaint, the EC has not responded to the matter yet.
This is not the first time that Sonachura has witnessed a controversial incident between the two bitter political rivals. Before the second phase of the polling, a BJP leader was caught red-handed with a bag full of bombs. He was arrested but residents said that throughout the night they witnessed bombing. Meanwhile, tension has spread in the area over the mysterious death of a BJP worker in the Vekutia locality in Nandigram.
The BJP has been accused of capturing booth number 16 in Nandigram. BJP workers were also accused of rioting at booths 52 and 53 in Mohammadpur. The ruling TMC alleged that the Central paramilitary forces have been ineffective in controlling the situation in the area.
The Mamata Banerjee-led party alleged that BJP candidate Suvendu Adhikari was seen roaming the constituency on his motor-bike throughout the night before the polling day and the EC failed to take any action.
Though Section 144 of the CrPC has been imposed in the entire Nandigram area and despite the presence of a large number of central paramilitary forces, the situation in this VIP constituency remains tense following sporadic violence.