WB Polls: TMC Alleges Voter Turnout Discrepancy; BJP Writes to EC

The Quint
·3-min read

A 10-member Trinamool Parliamentary delegation led by Sudip Bandyopadhyay, met Election Commission in Kolkata on Saturday, 27 March, opposing the change in the system of appointing booth agents.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) delegation led by National General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya too wrote a letter to the Chief Electoral Officer in Kolkata on Saturday, alleging there have been several instances of violent behaviour by “TMC goons".

The first phase of the West Bengal Assembly elections began on earlier in the day, recording 77.99 percent voter turnout until 5 PM.

"“The BJP had submitted a memorandum requesting to change the system of appointing booth agents wherein he must be a voter of the concerned booth and allow anybody at any booth. The new system is not acceptable to us.”" - Sudip Bandyopadhyay, TMC MP

“We demand that from the next phase the polling agent must be local of the concerned polling booth. CEO has assured us to look into the matter,” he added.

In a letter to the EC, TMC MP Derek O’Brien wrote:

"“Voter turnout for ACs Kanthi Dakshin (216) and Kanthi Uttar (213) at 9:13am was 18.47 percent and 18.95 percent respectively. Four minutes later, at 9:17am, voter turnout reduced to 10.60 percent and 9:40 percent. Such discrepancy raises question on genuineness of data issued by EC.”"

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Also Read: Assembly Elections 2021: What’s at Stake in West Bengal and Assam?

‘Instances of Violent Behaviour by TMC Goons’: BJP Writes to EC

In a letter addressed to the Chief Electoral Officer in Kolkata, the BJP delegation led by National General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya alleged that there have been several instances of violent behaviour by “goons and miscreants belonging to the ruling party, ie, Trinamool Congress.”

“At present, there are disturbances in Saraswati Bajar, Hazrakata more, Jorsulis and the Kendamari area. In the Kendamari gram panchayat and Mahammadpur gram panchayat areas, there is complete chaos, anarchy and it is all organised and supported by the local police,” the letter mentioned.

Earlier, BJP West Bengal President Dilip Ghosh while responding to TMC’s allegations on rigging of polls had said that the latter was ‘under pressure.’

“TMC knows that it is losing and that’s why it is saying all this. For such complaints, TMC should go to the Election Commission. TMC and Mamata Banerjee are under pressure and that is why they are saying such things,” said Ghosh.

The 30 of 294 seats polling in the first phase are spread across the districts of Purulia, Jhargram, Bankura, East Midnapore and West Midnapore. This area is popularly known as the Jangalmahal and has a high Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe population.

Also Read: ‘Bermuda Shorts’ Jibe at CM Shows BJP Doesn’t Respect Women: TMC

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