West Bengal: Union Home Minister Amit Shah said in a press conference that he is confident that BJP will win over 200 seats in West Bengal after the state saw the end of the first phase of its Assembly elections.
He stated that so far, polling has been held peacefully and after talking to BJP cadre and organizers on the ground, he is confident that out of 30 seats, they would win more than 26, which, according to him, laid the foundation for BJP’s performance in the rest of the West Bengal Election.
However, the first phase of voting saw a lot of instances of violence in places like West Midnapore, Bakura, and Purulia. Ex-CPM MLA and Left Candidate Sushanta Ghosh was attacked at Salboni, West Mindapore. BJP leader Survendu Adhikari’s brother Somendu was attacked and his car was vandalized at Kanthi in Purba Medinipur district. So far, 10 people were arrested for committing violence.
Both the BJP and TMC have leveled accusations of malpractice and violence on each other. Six BJP supporters, three of whom were women, claimed they were assaulted by TMC supporters at Hetashol village while they were on their way home after voting. Instances of tension were also reported from Daton, where TMC polling agents claimed that they were not allowed to enter booths.
Chief Minister Mamta Bannerjee also alleged that EVM malfunctions and turnout discrepancy were taking place. She took to Twitter to question the Election Commission on how the voter turnout rate reduced to half in the span of five minutes, and voters in the Kanthi Dakshin Assembly seat allege that despite voting for TMC, the VVPAT (voter-verified paper audit trail) machine is showing BJP’s symbol. She urged the Election Commission to look into the matter.