In the midst of a clash with BJP staff at a polling booth, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee dialed Governor Jagdeep Dhankar from Nandigram. “Something could happen at any time,” she told the Governor over the phone. “With the people from outside being in the region, there is a complete breakdown of law and order,” the Chief Minister added.
The second phase of voting in Nandigram, where the Chief Minister is pitted against her protege-turned-arch rival Suvendu Adhikari, is underway today. Ms. Banerjee, who was watching the proceedings from her home in Nandigram, left about 1 p.m. after her Trinamool Congress leaders accused BJP employees of booth capturing and rigging.
“I have lodged 63 poll-related complaints since morning, and no action has been taken by the Election Commission,” Ms. Banerjee said, alleging that goons “from other states” are causing a ruckus here.
“Outsiders are the ones who raise slogans. They were from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, respectively. Central Forces are protecting their protection “Ms. Banerjee’s party had previously written to the Election Commission, demanding that security forces from NDA-ruled states such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh not be deployed in Bengal to ensure free and fair elections.
According to the party, security forces from these states would be partisan. The Trinamool Congress has been accused of disrupting voting in Nandigram on several occasions. Derek O’Brien, a senior party leader, has already written to the Election Commission, accusing BJP men of booth capture.
“Booths 6, 7, 49, 27, 162, 21, 26, 13, 262, 256, 163, 20 have been flooded with BJP supporters. BJP employees attempted to rig the booth by seizing hold of the EVM “he penned
“More than 150 EVM machines malfunctioning after Phase II voting began this morning,” party MP Mahua Moitra tweeted in the morning. “Wish @ECISVEEP had placed half as much effort into ensuring no EVM glitches as it did in moving police officials.”
The problems with voting machines, according to the Election Commission, have been largely resolved.