As the voting began on Saturday (March 27) for 30 constituencies in phase I of the Bengal elections, the Trinamool Congress alleged rigging in voter turnout data and also faulty EVMs at some places.
Party MP Derek O’Brien led a delegation to the Election Commission in the afternoon to share its concerns.
Meanwhile, the BJP too has some issues with the polls so far and a party delegation is likely to approach the Election Commission soon.
As per figures available till 1.30 pm, the voter turnout in the 30 constituencies was just 56 percent, against 85.4 percent in 2016 assembly election.
Trinamool party handle released a tweet expressing surprise at the voting turnout numbers from East Medinipur district. “What is happening @ECISVEEP?! Could you explain how voting percentage drastically reduced to half within a gap of just 5 minutes?! Shocking! @CEOWestBengal, please look into this urgently!”
The party released another tweet saying that some voters have complained that they voted for Trinamool but the VVPAT showed BJP.
Trinamool leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay, after meeting the chief election officer, said the party is against the BJP’s demand of allowing anybody (irrespective of whether he is from that constituency or not) to become booth agent. “The new system is not acceptable to us. 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.”
In phase I, 30 seats are up for grabs from Purulia and Jhargram districts and some regions of Bankura, Purba Medinipur and Paschim Medinipur. In 2016 assembly polls, the Trinamool had won 27 of the 30 seats.
The BJP has emerged as a tough contestant in this election besides the Left-Congress combine.
Suvendu Adhikari’s brother attacked
Somendu Adhikari, brother of BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari, complained to the police that Trinamool party activists reportedly attacked his car in Contai town of East Midnapur district.
Somendu, who is also a BJP party worker, said his car was attacked with stones and his driver was beaten up. He said the attack was carried out by Trinamool activists because he stopped them from rigging polls. Somendu escaped unhurt.
The BJP leader accused TMC block President, Ram Govind Das and his wife, of rigging polls at three booths. “They attacked me because I caught them red-handed,” Soumendu told NDTV.
The injured driver, Gopal Singh, told police that some 20-25 people attacked the car then beat him up. The driver said that police were present on the spot but did nothing to stop the vandals.