Kolkata: Amid elaborate security arrangements, the third phase of polling in West Bengal recorded a turnout of more than 30 per cent till 1115 hours.
Long queues were seen outside polling stations, where voting will continue till 6.30 PM. West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo alleged the blatant misuse of Central forces continues unabated.
Taking to her handle handle, Ms Banerjee said, “The blatant misuse of Central forces continues unabated. Despite us repeatedly raising this issue, @ECISVEEP continues to be a mute spectator while men in uniform are being misused at several places to openly intimidate TMC voters & influence many to vote in favour of one party.”
The Election Commission has suspended a Sector Officer after some EVMs were found outside the house of a TMC leader under Uluberian north assembly seat in polling bound Howrah district late last night, the official sources said.
According t Election commission, Tapan Sarkar, sector officer of Sector 17 in AC 177 Uluberia Uttar at Howrah district, went with Reserve EVM and slept at a relative’s house.
This is a gross violation of EC’s instructions for which he has been suspended and charges will be framed for major punishment, the EC said.
The Sector Police attached to Sector Officer has also been directed to be suspended. The said EVM and VVPAT have been taken out of the stock and shall not be used in the polls
Meanwhile, TMC MLA Saokat Molla has alleged that ISF workers are hurling bombs at polling booths.
“I had received information that ISF workers were hurling bombs at a polling booth in Satsa. I have informed the Police and complained to the Election Commission. I will go to that polling booth,” he said.
Mr Molla said all allegations (by BJP) are false. When a party weakens, it gives baseless statements. It is they who facilitate hooliganism, they bring money and people from outside. Whatever they say is a lie. Voters in South 24 Parganas is with TMC and Mamata Banerjee..
TMC candidate from Arambagh Sujata Mondal said, “Situation is fine at many places but not okay where we are strong. At booth 45, people voted for TMC but it’s going to BJP. In Arandi-ii, our workers were beaten. Central Forces are also not neutral. They are telling people to vote for BJP.”
BJP candidate from Diamond Harbour constituency in South 24 Parganas Dipak Haldar accused TMC for not allowing people to cast votes.
“TMC goons are not allowing people to cast their votes at booth no. 180, 143 Dagira Baduldanga. I have complained to the Election Commission officials,” Mr Haldar said.
A state police officer was driven out from the polling booth at Jangipara by BJP candidate Debjit Sarkar as the latter said the state police personnel had no business inside the polling station.
The incident happened at DM High school at Jangipara where the BJP contestant also alleged that the police official had objected to the BJP polling agent from sitting inside the booth as he had a saffron colour shirt.