Poll violence is not new in the state of Bengal but the violence during the rule of Mamata Banerjee has reached new heights. The atrocities have been witnessed over the three phases of voting which were conducted in the state.
As the third phase of polling began all across India, the entire nation is in a poll frenzy and all the leading parties are trying to gain momentum in their own way. A bitter battle is being fought in West Bengal between the BJP and Mamata Banerjee led Trinamool Congress. The situation in the state of West Bengal witnessed the sorry state of affairs yet again even in the third phase of polling under the leadership of chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
The violence intensified in Bengal and a man has reportedly being killed during the third and the largest phase of the national election. In the district of Murshidabad a voter was allegedly hacked to death at a polling booth when there was a clash between the Congress and the ruling TMC. There were several other incidents of violence reported . The incidents of poll atrocities are not new but in Bengal under the leadership of the Mamata Banerjee led government the incidents seemed to have aggravated leaps and bounds and all the three phases of polling in Bengal so far have witnessed shameful incidents where there were booth jamming reported along with attack on journalists, EVMs being vandalized, poll booth officers being attacked. The mob went so out of control that tear gas had to be fired. The violence seems to have reached new heights with separate incidents being reported all across the state with two women activists being injured as there was a mob attack and security forces resorted to batons to disperse the mob. Also there were complaints of security forces terrorizing common voters’ across the east constituency. of Tripura with unprovoked baton charge. In regions like Domkal and Raninagar, voters were intimidated as crude bombs was hurled at them injuring one person. Similar incidents were reported from the state even during the 1St and 2nd phase of the polls in Bengal.
The situation has become so grave that thousands of poll officers have wrote to the Chief Election Officer of West Bengal and appealed for immediate deployment of Central forces to control the situation. They were so traumatized that they had threatened to pull off from the booths if adequate forces were not deployed.
Last year during the panchayat elections, in North Bengal Rajkumar Roy who was a teacher by profession was allegedly killed as he was doing his job as a presiding officer at a polling booth. Although the police described it as mysterious death the other poll personnel’s and teachers of the district had said that hoodlums affiliated to the ruling party were involved in his killing. It also became clear that since the officer refused to give in to the demands of the goons of letting them rig booths, they hacked him to death while trying to capture the booth. Most of such incidents are not reported due to fear. The situation has reached new heights and during the recent LS poll voting, the incidents of crude bombs being hurled by unidentified miscreants were also reported and it has been observed that all the 3 phases of voting held so far witnessed a different level of violence which disrupted the polling system. The third phase of voting in Bengal saw the constituencies like Kolkata-North, Joynagar, Diamond Harbour, Barrackpore, Basirhat, Barasat and Mathurapur also being rocked by violence.
This Lok Sabha election is very crucial for the Mamata Banerjee government, as they are facing the toughest challenge from the ruling BJP since they have already gained prominence in the state. The popularity of the BJP has rattled the Bengal CM and her party.PM Modi and his party has been campaigning intensively in the state to gain momentum and recently PM Modi held a rally in the district of Asansol which had an overwhelming response and PM appealed to the voters and encouraged them to stand by the party to help revive the deteriorating economy of the state. He attacked the Mamata Banerjee government and said that corruption and violence has been widespread during the rule of the TMC and that political violence and bullying by the TMC goons is at its prime but such tactics will not work and dampen the spirit of the BJP in trying to gain momentum in the state. The BJP still in its nascent stage in the game in Bengal and so its party cadres continue to get attacked by the TMC goons and is fighting a tough battle in the democratic process.
The people of Bengal are well aware of the intensifying violence which the state has been facing and it is evident that the trend will continue during the entire polling season. The ill doings like ghost voters stuffing ballot boxes has multiplied two folds and it is evident that the Mamata Banerjee government has become so nervous that it has become unabashed and is resorting to extreme violence. Despite of enjoying a huge majority in the state and had all this while never faced a credible challenge in terms of opposition seems to be visibly shaken and is leaving no stone unturned to make violence as hwer weapon against the BJP. The TMC goons enter any random area which is unknown to them and attack people causing double the bloodshed. A part of the TMC’s rise has been them intimidating the voters and opposition candidates on a regular basis.
The unprecedented ‘dadagiri’or bullying by the TMC goons has become an intrinsic part of Bengal and especially during the period of voting the criminal activities like extortion and vote capturing becomes most significant. The dadas or the goons of TMC have become driving force in Bengal politics and they have the power to manipulate the voting process and lead people to submission.
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