New Delhi: Voters in West Bengal’s Basirhat today held a protest outside polling station number 189 alleging that Trinamool Congress workers are not letting them cast vote.
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As many as 59 Lok Sabha constituencies are undergoing the last phase of polling in the seven-phase 2019 Lok Sabha elections, including West Bengal’s nine Lok Sabha seats.
According to news agency ANI, voters staged a massive protest outside polling station 189 and alleged that the TMC workers are barring them from casting franchise. Reacting to this, BJP candidate from Basirhat Sayantan Basu said, “100 people were stopped from voting. We will take them to cast their vote.”
The Basirhat Lok Sabha seat, bordering Bangladesh that was hit by communal violence in 2017, has also hogged the limelight since the announcement of candidate list as another Bengali silver screen heroine Nusrat Jahan is fighting against the BJP’s Sayantan Basu.
West Bengal recorded 14.17 per cent polling till 9 AM to the state’s nine Lok Sabha seats amid a few incidents of sporadic violence and reports of EVM failures in several booths leading to either delay or stalling of the poll process, an official said.
As of 9 a.m., the voter turnout was the highest in Jadavpur (17.11 per cent), followed by Dum Dum (16.57), Mathurapur (15.68), Basirhat (15.67), Barasat (14.78), Diamond Harbour (13.32), Kolkata South (11.92), Jaynagar (11.43) and Kolkata North (11.08 per cent).
“A number of EVM failures across constituencies has been reported and requisite actions are being taken,” said the Election Commission official.
Polling process at three booths in Dum Dum’s Nagerbazar area and another at South City College under the South Kolkata seat were delayed by more than an hour, voting did not begin be till 9.30 a.m. at a booth in Jadavpur’s Sonarpur.
Crude bombs were hurled at Raidighi in Mathurapur and voters were allegedly threatened by the activists of the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress while a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) camp office was set ablaze in Rajarhat under the Barasat constituency.
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) North Kolkata candidate Kaninika Bose (Ghosh) alleged that polling agents were beaten up and not allowed to sit inside the booths.
Voting will end at 6 PM.
With inputs from agencies