Assembly polls

West Bengal goes to polls amid rampant violence

West-bengal-phase1a An armyman keeps watch as voters stand in a queue to cast their votes in West Bengal | PTI

Violence has marred the first phase of assembly elections in West Bengal with the Congress and the Left leaders demanding action against the Election Commission officials.

In West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura, ruling party workers were found carrying guns, terrorising voters. In Ranigunj, a convicted Trinamool Congress MLA was found entering the polling booths with his candidate wife Nargis Begum even as the officers guarding the booths looked on.

An unprecedented 1,200 complaints have been lodged with the Election Commission ever since polling began at 7 am in the morning.

In Keshpur and Sonamukhi in West Midnapore, TMC workers were found roaming in the villages with weapons. They booted out both the Congress and the Left agents from the polling stations while presiding officers did nothing to prevent it.

Forward Bloc senior leader Naren Chatterjee demanded the expulsion of entire Election Commission officials in Kolkata.

“This is a farce, not an election. We demand that all observers who are spending good times in five stars hotels and the entire Election Commission team in Kolkata be expelled by the Chief Election commissioner. Mr Nasim Zaidi talked big but actually he is a failure,” said Chatterjee.

Election Commission remained silent over the issue.

“We are keeping a close watch. We are evaluating all the complaints. Huge number of complaints have started pouring in,” said of the officials.

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