The Bhatpara bypoll took place as the Trinamul MLA of the constituency switched to the BJP and contested the Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat.
Kolkata: Even the Bhatpara Assembly by-election in North 24 Parganas, which was held with the seventh and final phase of Lok Sabha election on Sunday, was not spared from violence. This time the allegations however surfaced against the BJP workers led by Arjun Singh, known to be the local strongman.
A police car was also vandalised. The Election Commission has sought a report on the violence. The Bhatpara bypoll took place because Mr Singh who was the Trinamul MLA of the Assembly constituency switched to the BJP and contested the Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat. Kankinara, an area in Bhatpara, turned into a warzone as clashes broke out in several rounds. Police and Central paramilitary forces resorted to lathicharge.
In the morning when Trinamul Congress candidate Madan Mitra who has been fielded against Mr Singh's son Pawan Singh, entered the area, bricks and bombs were hurled by the BJP workers targeting his car. He escaped unhurt however. The former minister alleged, “Our administration is the Election Commission which has barred the presence of outsiders. I am travelling in one car. But there has been a shameless effort to spoil the polling."
He claimed, “Since 6.30 am, nearly 20 persons have been present in booth nos 73, 74 and 75 in ward no 11 while 100 persons present outside. We would like to mention to the administration that it has imposed Section 144. But what happened is absolutely a violation of Section 144. How can so many persons stay inside a booth despite Section 144 in force? We do not believe in muscle power. It will just take five minutes to clear it if we think.”
Mr Mitra added, “But we want common people to vote. They have been trying to cast their votes standing in queues since morning. Seeing that Arjun Singh, who is neither a candidate nor an agent, is trying to create trouble."
Mr Mitra was seen locked in an altercation with a Central reserve police force personnel at the booth.
Rejecting his charges, Mr Singh however argued, “It is Madan Mitra has who brought outsiders here to create trouble. Three houses were torched on his order.”
Keep yourself updated on Lok Sabha Elections 2019 with our round-the-clock coverage -- breaking news, updates, analyses etc all. Happy reading.