BJP leaders on Monday met the Election Commission to complain about the violence against the workers of its party during the seven phases of elections and demanded re-polling in some constituencies, including those in West Bengal.
Union minister Piyush Goyal said that the EC has been given detailed information on the violence that marred polling in constituencies where elections were held between 11 April and 19 May.
“We gave the Election Commission detailed information of the violence inflicted upon our workers. We reiterated our demand for re-poll for constituencies where violence occurred in seventh phase and earlier phases, particularly in West Bengal,” Goyal told reporters.
West Bengal, which has 42 Lok Sabha seats, was the only state in the country where poll violence was reported in each of the seven phases.
BJP workers and candidates were attacked allegedly by activists of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), even on the last day of polling.
A BJP camp office in Rajarhat under Barasat constituency was set on fire. Crude bombs were hurled in Raidighi of Mathurapur and voters were allegedly threatened by TMC activists. Clashes between TMC and BJP supporters were reported from Basirhat.
Voters protested outside polling station number 189 in the constituency accusing TMC workers of preventing them from casting their vote.
BJP candidate from South Kolkata, Chandra Kumar Bose, equated the TMC to “a terrorist organisation” and alleged that party workers have been threatened by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s “jihadi brigade”.
“Last night, I was getting calls from my workers from different booths that they have been threatened by TMC’s ‘jihadi’ brigade that if you sit as booth agents for BJP, you’ll be murdered. There’s no difference between a terrorist organisation and TMC,” he said on Sunday.
Asansol MP and BJP leader Babul Supriyo said that the violence is Mamata Banerjee fulfilling her “revenge”.
“When the CM is saying she will take revenge, this is nothing new. TMC inherited this from CPI(M). Their credibility is gone. If they keep saying they are not indulging in violence, it dents their image,” he told reporters.
BJP candidate for Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha constituency, Nilanjan Roy’s car vandalised in Dongaria area of the constituency.
Stones were pelted at BJP’s Kolkata North candidate Rahul Sinha near a polling station at Park Circus area here on Sunday. The leader escaped unharmed.
In previous phases, the cars of Union Minister Babul Supriyo and BJP candidate Bharati Ghosh were vandalised. Many other BJP workers were attacked allegedly by TMC supporters.
And in one of the biggest incidents of political violence, BJP chief Amit Shah’s roadshow was attacked allegedly by TMC supporters in Kolkata’s College Street. The incident triggered a pitched battle between BJP and TMC supporters, which led to the destruction of a bust of 19th century Bengali renaissance icon Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.
The BJP which bagged only two seats in the 2014 general elections in West Bengal is expected to touch double digits in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the exit polls have predicted.
The exit polls on Sunday predicted that the BJP could win 16 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal.
However, the ruling Trinamool Congress has been silent and the Congress and the CPI-M were dismissive of the exit poll predictions.