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Bengal records around 73 pc polling till 5 PM

Bengal records around 73 pc polling till 5 PM

Kolkata, May 20 (UNI) Amid allegations and counter-allegations by rival parties, an estimated 73 per cent of more than 1.25 crore electorate exercised their franchise till 5 PM on Monday in the fifth phase election to seven Lok Sabha seats comprising mainly the industrial belt of West Bengal.
Barring some stray incidents of preventing voters from coming to polling booths in some constituencies, overall voting was peaceful and incident-free so far.
Usually Barrackpore, Arambag and Howrah are under lens as violence took place in Panchayat poll in 2023 and 2021 Assembly election.
There has so far been no report of any violence.
Long queues were seen outside the polling booths, especially the women, in the forefront with brisk polling reported in early hours.
While Bongaon recorded 75.73 per cent polling, Barrackpore recorded 68.84 per cent, Howrah 68.84 per cent, Uluberia 74.50 per cent, Serampore 71.18 per cent, Hooghly 74.17 per cent and Arambagh 76.90 per cent.
Meanwhile, Barrackpore BJP candidate Arjun singh alleged he was threatened by the state police whilst he was trying to stop prevention of voters from going to cast vote. One woman was hospitalised, he complained.
Singh posted on X, "This is Bony, one of the criminals of Babu block, kanchrapara in the Bijpur assembly, patronised by the @AITCofficial leaders, attacked on the head of a woman voter and was obstructing the voters. When I inquired about that, he started threatening me. One can feel the audacity of the TMC backed goons. Criminals are intimidating the voters but voters are with me. I request @ECISVEEP to look into these intimidations and take necessary actions."
At Amdanga under Barrackpore, state police were seen removing assembly of people and warned no trick would be tolerated.
Gautam Manna a presiding officer was slapped by a polling agent at Liluah under Howrah seat. He was seen almost breaking down before BJP candidate Rathin Chakraborty that an unidentified polling agent slapped him. He said he is a school teacher.
Reports of polling agents were threatened are pouring in from the various booths.
The TMC posted on X, " First Medinipur, now Hooghly – BJP’s corruption trail is spreading like wildfire."
"Rs. 35 lakh of undocumented cash was seized from BJP leader Samit Mandal at a Kharagpur hotel. If that weren't enough, another BJP leader was nabbed in Hooghly with Rs. 2 lakh of unaccounted cash and unlicensed firearms. All this is unfolding while PM Modi is gallivanting across Bengal, preaching against corruption. The hypocrisy. "
Arambagh BJP candidate Anup Kumar Dinar alleged his agent was prevented by TMC supporters at a booth in Tarakeswar.
He said complaint has been lodged with the ECI.
Santanu Thakur, BJP candidate in Bongaon, alleged his agent was badly beaten by the TMC workers and hospitalised.
He visited hospital to see the injured man.
Santanu Thakur also alleged the central forces were not there as they were misled by the state police, which was, however, denied.
TMC candidate for Bongaon Biswajit Das alleged the central forces were misbehaving with their supporters.
Hooghly BJP candidate was seen asking a Bengal police woman to get out of a booth and asked the central forces to be in the booth.
BJP leader Kaustav Bagchi's car was vandalized when he went to see the alleged prevention of the voters at ward nos 16 and 17 under Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat.
He alleged he was rescued by his security personnel and said he informed party candidate Arjun Singh.

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