Accusing the ruling Trinamool Congress of rigging in the Cooch Behar Lok Sabha seat during the first phase of polling in West Bengal on Thursday, BJP candidate Nishit Pramanik held a protest in front of the District Magistrate’s office, demanding re-poll in all booths where central forces were not deployed.
The sit-in led to a minor tussle between the state police personnel, who tried to remove Pramanik and his supporters from the spot and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel, recruited as personal guards of the leader.
“We have complained to the Election Commission and the District Magistrate that rigging was going on in over 100 polling stations in different parts of Cooch Behar. But no action was taken. So the incidents of rigging increased later in the afternoon. According to our reports, Trinamool Congress goons rigged the votes in at least 350 polling booths,” Pramanik alleged.
“We want repoll in all the polling stations which were guarded by the state police and not by the central force personnel. I will continue the demonstration unless our demands are heard,” he said.
Central police observer for West Bengal Vivek Dubey, however, said the polling in both the seats in the first phase had been peaceful.
“The polling has been peaceful. Both the central force and state force worked with proper coordination. There were no major incidents of violence,” Dubey said.