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Lok Sabha Election 2024 Phase 1: Violence reported in Bengal's Coochbehar; TMC, BJP trade charges

The Phase 1 of the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections in West Bengal saw a resurgence of political violence, with both the BJP and TMC accusing each other of perpetrating violence and disrupting the electoral process.

Edited By: Vaidehi Jahagirdar Cooch Behar (West Bengal) Updated on: April 19, 2024 11:50 IST
West Bengal
Image Source : PTI Representative Image

West Bengal witnessed a resurgence of political violence on Friday as Cooch Behar, Alipurduar, and Jalpaiguri constituencies went to polls in Phase 1 of the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections. Both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) accused each other of perpetrating violence, injuring their poll agents and workers, and disrupting the electoral process in the state.

While the BJP alleged TMC's involvement in a stone-pelting incident in Chandmari village and across, TMC slammed the BJP for resorting to outright voter suppression from Sitalkuchi to Sitai. TMC said, "Shame on the BJP! In their desperation to cling to power, they're resorting to outright voter suppression. TMC alleged reports pouring in from booths 59, Andaran Phulbari-II, Tufanganj, and Cooch Behar reveal that BJP goons are obstructing voters from casting their ballots."

It further added, "Our MP candidate, Jagadish Chandra Basunia, visited Sitai, Cooch Behar, to assess the dire situation. BJP thugs have shamelessly vandalised our camp there, leaving a trail of destruction."

Meanwhile, taking to X (formerly Twitter), BJP West Bengal too slammed TMC for their alleged involvement in the incidents that have sparked violence. The BJP has called on the election commission to take stringent action against perpetrators involved in the incident. 

"When elections arrive, violence shadows West Bengal yet again! Even in the first phase of Lok Sabha polls, the ominous presence of Trinamool violence persists. From Chandmari to elsewhere, voters were intimidated by brick showers, which prevented them from polling booths. Terrorism fueled by fear of Trinamool's defeat cannot be tolerated. Urging the @ECISVEEP to act swiftly against these perpetrators. 

Coochbehar witnessed a 15.26% voter turnout.

According to an Election Commission official, as of 9 am, over 15 percent of the total 56.26 lakh voters in the three Lok Sabha constituencies had cast their votes. “In Cooch Behar, voter turnout stands at 15.26 percent, while in Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri, it is 15.91 percent and 14.13 percent respectively,” a ECI official stated.

Meanwhile, a total of 37 candidates, including Union Minister and BJP leader Nisith Pramanik (Cooch Behar), are in the fray in the three constituencies of West Bengal. 

(Reported by Onkar Sarkar)

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