Barring some stray incidents of clash and scuffle, Assembly vote for Noapara passed off peacefully today amid tight security.
The Opposition including BJP, Congress and Left Front, alleged the Trinamul Congress brought miscreants from outside to terrorize. The ruling party, however,ruled out th e allegations as baseless.
A clash broke out near a booth at Palta after a BJP polling agent was allegedly beaten up by TMC supporters. Later, BJP Noapara candidate Sandip Banerjee alleged that several booths were rigged and people from outside casted proxy votes. Incident of scuffle and clash allegedly took place in some areas of Palta.
“Poll processes in several polling booths~20, 23, 44, 48, 154, 128, 129 and others were hampered. Voters were barred to cast their votes.
“Polling personnel only put indelible ink on the finger of the voters but their votes were casted by others,” Mr Banerjee said.
Congress candidate Goutam Bose alleged the TMC-backed miscreants threatened voters last night to not cast their votes. A CPI-M leader said outside miscreants gathered at Garulia, Barrackpore Cantonment areas, North Barrackpore , Siuli-Mohanpur and other areas. Around 75 per cent polling was registered till 4 p.m. in Noapara Assembly seat, a local administrative source said. Trinamul candidate Sunil Singh ruled out all allegations as baseless. After casting his vote at Garulia Hindi Free Primary School, Singh said people are casting their votes enthusiastically as a festival is being held at the locality. “People are highly impressed with the development work of chief minister Mamata Banerjee. So despite being a normal working day, people formed long queues patiently waiting to exercise their franchise in favour of TMC,” he said.
Officer of the CEO of West Bengal,however, claimed that poll is peaceful.
“Till 1 pm, 55 per cent voting has been recorded in both the constituencies. The voting process is completely peaceful,” a senior election official said.
The elections were necessitated following death of the Congress MLA from Noapara Assembly seat Madhusudan Ghose.
In Noapara, the TMC has fielded Sunil Singh, while the CPI(M) has put up Gargi Chatterjee. Goutam Bose is the Congress candidate and Sandip Banerjee of BJP.
The Noapara Assembly seat has 2,46,522 voters. The results will be announced on 1 February, the EC said. Voting for the Noapara Assembly bypolls began at 7am today and it registered 17.5 per cent polling respectively in the first two hours.
Noapara seat is likely to witness a direct contest between the ruling Trinamul Congress and the BJP, even as the CPI(M) is trying hard to hold its ground in its erstwhile bastions.
CPIM candidate Gargi Chatterjee casted her vote at the Garulia Girls’ high school~ booth no 107 and the BJP candidate Mr Banerjee exercised hsi franchise in Noapara Barhmamaye School.