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KMC election: Isolated incidents of violence, allegations of irregularities in KMC polls

KMC election: Isolated incidents of violence, allegations of irregularities in KMC polls, the vie

Kolkata police have done a good job and ‘if somebody does drama it is better to ignore’, says Mamata

Isolated incidents of violence including attacks on contesting candidates and allegations of electoral irregularities by the Opposition parties marked the polling for the Kolkata Municipal Corporation on Sunday. While polling for 144 wards took place without the deployment of the Central Armed Police Forces, the Kolkata police deployed over 23,000 personnel across 4,939 booths.

Polling started at 7 a.m. and by 5 p.m. about 64% voters had exercised their franchise. The final voting percentage may rise.

Three persons sustained injuries after a crude bomb was hurled near a school. There were reports of a bomb being hurled at another school in the same ward.

Meena Devi Purohit, BJP councillor, alleged that she was assaulted by the Trinamool Congress supporters. Another BJP candidate, Rajarshi Lahiri, was assaulted by unidentified people and was admitted to a hospital.

 

, the vie

Polling underway for Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) at polling booth in Rajabazar area of Kolkata, West Bengal.
 
| Photo Credit: Debasish Bhaduri

 

Supporters of the Congress and the TMC were involved in a scuffle at a polling venue and the police personnel had to intervene to bring the situation inside the polling premises under control. Violence was reported from a ward where people stormed a polling premises and disrupted the process.

The candidates of the Left parties held a road block in Jadavpur area alleging electoral irregularities and demanded re-polling in three wards. Sujata Saha (CPI-M) sustained injuries in an attack and was admitted to the State-run SSKM Hospital while the vehicle of another contestant Faiz Ahmed Khan was also attacked.

BJP MLAs not allowed in Kolkata

Five MLAs of the BJP who were residing at the MLA Hostel on the Kyd Street said they were not allowed to leave it as the main gate was locked. Leader of the party Suvendu Adhikari and 17 other MLAs were huddled in a meeting at a house in Salt Lake in the north eastern fringes of the city. The police did not allow them to leave the premises and enter the city. The BJP claimed that the MLAs had an appointment with the Governor and threatened to block the streets if there were any electoral irregularities.

The polls are crucial not only because its outcome will decide who will administer the civic body for the next five years but also because the State government and the ruling party have assured the Calcutta High Court that the polls will be “free and fair” without the need to requisition additional forces. The court was also assured on deployment of Central forces in case of any eventuality in six hours.

A spokesperson of the Kolkata police said overall polling has been peaceful and 72 persons were arrested till Sunday afternoon. “We have attended all the complaints brought before us,” a spokesperson said.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who exercised her franchise, said the Kolkata police have done a good job as far as the management of the polls is concerned. “If somebody does drama it is better to ignore,” Ms. Banerjee said when asked about the allegations raised by the BJP.

The TMC including party general secretary Abhishek Banerjee had warned supporters of strong action if they indulge in any kind of irregularities or violence which will hamper the polling process. After casting his vote on Sunday, Mr. Banerjee said in case anyone from the party is found involved in any kind of irregularities the party will take exemplary action against the person.

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