Kolkata: The BJP in West Bengal described Monday the assault of its candidate in the by-poll to Karimpur Assembly seat during voting hours as ‘murder of democracy’ while the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) claimed that the saffron party has orchestrated a drama to gain the sympathy of voters.
Besides Karimpur, by-elections were held in two other Assembly constituencies in West Bengal that witnessed more than 75 per cent of the over seven lakh electorate casting votes.
The West Bengal unit of the BJP demanded removal of the SP and the District Magistrate of Nadia after its candidate Joyprakash Majumdar was assaulted allegedly by TMC workers.
“Our candidate Joyprakash Majumdar was attacked by Trinamool Congress workers. It is the murder of democracy under the chief ministership of Mamata Banerjee. The TMC has resorted to violence anticipating defeat in the polls,” senior BJP leader Mukul Roy said.
TV footages showed Majumdar, who is also the state BJP vice-president, being beaten up, kicked and pushed into a bush by a group of men at Phipulkhola area of Nadia district in West Bengal.
Roy said the party had sent a complaint with pictures of the attack to the Election Commission (EC) and demanded that both the SP and DM of Nadia district be removed and legal proceedings initiated against them for failing to maintain law and order in the area.
“This is unprecedented and had never happened even during the 34 years of Left Front misrule,” Roy claimed. He alleged that central forces in all the 817 polling stations in the three constituencies had been manipulated by the TMC.
“We have got some information on booth capturing by the TMC. We will wait for the final report and demand a re-poll if needed,” Roy told a press conference.
The TMC, however, termed the allegations as baseless and said it has to be ascertained whether or not the assault on the candidate was real.
“The BJP very well knows that it is going to lose the polls. So they staged a drama to gain sympathy. Those who don’t have any connection with the people resort to falsehood and drama. The BJP is doing just that in West Bengal,” TMC general secretary Partha Chatterjee said.
Both the TMC and the BJP claimed that they will win all the seats of Karimpur, Kaliagunj and Kharagpur (Sadar) seats where by-polls were held.
The Congress and the CPI(M) that have come together after three years to contest the by-elections accused both the BJP and the TMC of vitiating the democratic atmosphere of West Bengal.
“The TMC used the state police to terrorise the voters. The BJP used the central forces for doing the same. They are the two sides of the same coin,” senior Congress leader Suvankar Sarkar said.
CPI(M) central committee member Sujan Chakraborty criticised both the TMC and the BJP for allegedly turning the by-election into a farce.