TMC alleges central forces ‘intimidating’ voters

PTI, May 19, 2019, 3:53 PM IST

Kolkata: The Trinamool Congress Sunday alleged that the central forces were “brutally torturing” and “intimidating” voters in West Bengal and acting as per orders of BJP leaders. In a statement, Trinamool Congress lawmaker Derek O’ Brien said, Bengal wants peaceful polling, which BJP doesn’t.

“Today, in Bengal, central forces are brutally torturing and intimidating common citizens, especially the marginalised. Even physically handicapped persons are being tortured. Central forces are also threatening voters ‘kamal dabao nahin toh thok dega’ (vote for BJP or will shoot you),” he said.

“Media has all these videos. Many are already in the public domain,” he added. The BJP termed the allegations baseless and said it was goons supported by the TMC who were trying to intimidate voters.

In Delhi, BJP leader and Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman also urged the poll body to order the central forces to remain in Bengal till the Model Code of Conduct is in place, as it expressed concern that the TMC may target a section of voters after polling is over.

An estimated 49.70 per cent of over 1.49 crore electorate exercised their franchise till 1 pm in nine Lok Sabha constituencies of West Bengal on Sunday, amid reports of EVM glitches and stray incidents of violence.

Polling is currently underway in Kolkata North, Kolkata South, Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Jadavpur, Diamond Harbour, Joynagar (SC) and Mathurapur (SC) in the seventh and final phase of the staggered general elections.

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