Yuva - India

Voter turnout at 80.43%: Bengal Second Phase Elections

On 1st April 2021 the second phase of Bengal elections took place. This was the extremely intense poll battle between Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her ex-party confidante Suvendu Adhikari as 30 seats went to polls in phase-2 West Bengal elections. All eyes were on Nandigram where TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee was in a battle with Suvendu Adhikari.

Polling took place with strict COVID-19 guidelines in nine seats of Paschim Medinipur, eight in Bankura, four seats in South 24 Parganas and nine seats in Purba Medinipur district. EC declared all the 10,620 booths of 30 constituencies in these four districts as sensitive. The Election Commission as a preventive measure had imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC in the entire Nandigram assembly on Wednesday. EC also had conducted air surveillance in the area in view of the sensitivity of the area.

Polling began at 7 a.m. for 30 constituencies including the high profile Nandigram seat amid tight security and with full adherence to COVID-19 protocols. Huge number of voters cast their votes with full enthusiasm and discipline. TMC and BJP were contesting all 30 seats, CPM was contesting from 15 seats and its alliance partners Congress and ISF were fighting for 13 and 2 seats, respectively.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged people to vote in large numbers in the Second phase of the elections. BJP’s heavyweight candidate Suvendu Adhikari cast his vote just after polling began. Riding on a bike Mr. Adhikari went to the Nandanayak Bar Primary School to cast his vote. In conversation with reporters, he said that he was confident that Mamata Banerjee who is contesting against him will lose the polls.

Along with voting violence was also seen during voting in many places to disturb the peaceful process of voting taking place. A Trinamool Congress worker was allegedly stabbed to death in Bengal’s Paschim Medinipur district in the early hours of Thursday. EC said that a report has been sought from district authorities over the incident. Moving ahead one more such incident took place where a BJP worker was found hanging at his home in Nandigram in Bengal’s Purba Medinipur district triggering tension in the area. Uday Dubey was receiving threats from the TMC after he attended a roadshow of Mithun Chakravarty who campaigned in his Bhekutia area to support BJP on March 30. He could also have been hanged to death by TMC goons, claimed BJP. Third such incident was from Keshpur assembly where a BJP candidate Tanmay Ghosh’s vehicle was vandalized allegedly by TMC supporters. Three persons had been arrested in connection with this incident, they said.

Amidst all these processes, games of allegations were at its best. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stayed at her war room in the Reypara area during polls in Nandigram assembly. She was monitoring the situations in the constituency as local TMC leaders complained of their election agents not being allowed to enter several booths as per the party sources. Meanwhile TMC alleged BJP threatened its polling agents in various booths in Nandigram Block 2. Mamata Banerjee and TMC also alleged that their polling agent was not allowed inside the booth at Boyal of Nandigram.

However, all this violence and blame game had not affected the spirit of voters. At 5 pm 80.43% of 75.94 lakh voters who were set to exercise their franchise in the second phase of the polls had cast their votes to strengthen the festival of democracy.

Divya Kumari

Intern, Goa Chronicle
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