Kolkata: Violence broke out in West Bengal’s Asansol where voting is underway for the by-election to the Asansol Lok Sabha seat on Tuesday. Bypoll is also being held for the Ballygunge Assembly constituencies in West Bengal. The polling began at 7 am, according to the state election commission.
BJP candidate Agnimitra Paul, who is contesting the Asansol Lok Sabha bypoll, has alleged that her convoy was attacked by the TMC goons and the police did nothing to stop them.
Stones were hurled when security personnel baton-charged a group of TMC supporters who gheraoed Paul’s vehicle, alleging that she tried to enter a polling booth along with her guards.
“TMC people attacked us, hurled stones at our convoy. Police doing nothing…,” Agnimitra Paul was quoted as saying by sources.
#WATCH | West Bengal: Violence breaks out in Asansol where bypoll voting to Lok Sabha seat is underway. Agnimitra Paul, who is BJP candidate for the seat alleges, "TMC people attacked us, hurled stones at our convoy. Police doing nothing… " pic.twitter.com/pdQGZWF57h
— ANI (@ANI) April 12, 2022
“TMC people thrashed our security with bamboo sticks… No matter how hard Mamata Banerjee tries, BJP is winning here…,” Agnimitra Paul said.
“My polling agent was not allowed to enter a booth in Barabani. My vehicle was also attacked and the police were mute spectators,” Paul alleged.
Meanwhile, the TMC alleged that it was Paul and her security personnel who tried to create disturbance in the area.
“How can a candidate move with a convoy of 20 cars? She and her security personnel were trying to create tension in the area,” a TMC leader told sources.
Around 10 per cent turnout was recorded till 9 am in the Asansol Lok Sabha constituency and Ballygunge assembly segment where by-elections were underway, the Election Commission said.
The Election Commission said 12.77 per cent turnout was recorded in Asansol in Paschim Bardhaman, while Ballygunge in south Kolkata recorded 8 per cent turnout during the first two hours of polling.
The by-elections were necessitated as Babul Supriyo resigned as the MP of Asansol after switching over to the TMC from the BJP, while state minister Subrata Mukherjee, who represented Ballygunge, died last year.
The TMC has fielded yesteryear actor Shatrughan Sinha in Asansol, which has a substantial Hindi-speaking population. The BJP has nominated Paul, who is the MLA from Asansol Dakshin.
Supriyo is the TMC candidate in Ballygunge, where he is pitted against BJP’s Keya Ghosh and CPI(M)’s Saira Shah Halim. The Congress is also in the fray in both the seats.
Around 15 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in Asansol. There are around 2.5 lakh voters in Ballygunge. A total of 138 companies of central forces have been deployed in the two places.