Violence breaks out at first phase of elections in eastern India

Violence breaks out at first phase of elections in eastern India

As the first phase of elections kicked off in eastern India’s West Bengal today, reports of violence have emerged from various parts of the state.

The incident took place at Sitalkuchi area in Cooch Behar district on April 19.

Visuals showed during the voting process, supporters of one party were seen hurling stones at the leader of another party as he arrived to cast his vote. The attackers attempted to pelt the leader with stones as he made his way to the polling station, creating a chaotic and dangerous situation.


According to reports a Trinamool Block President was injured and hospitalized in the Dinhata area after being attacked by a BJP worker wielding a sickle-like weapon while he was en route to cast his vote in Sitalkuchi. The victim was left bleeding and had to be immediately admitted to the hospital. Similar incidents of violence have been reported from Sitai, Dinhata, Bhetaguri, and other areas of the district.

BJP candidate Nisith Pramanik has accused the Trinamool Congress of orchestrating the violence, alleging that people have been prevented from exercising their democratic rights in Panchayat, Municipal, and various other elections. Pramanik asserted, “Till Trinamool Congress is there, there will be violence. How can you deprive people of democratic rights?” He further claimed that BJP workers are being targeted, with the police allegedly acting at the behest of the Trinamool Congress.

The constituency of Cooch Behar, with its significant Rajbanshi population, has become the focal point of attention in this phase of elections. Union Minister for Home Affairs (MOS) Nishith Pramanik, contesting on a BJP ticket, is facing a tough battle against Trinamool sitting MLA Jagadish Chandra Basunia, with the seat witnessing a four-cornered contest.

Clashes between the BJP and Trinamool Congress have also been reported in Chandmari and Dinhata areas of Cooch Behar. The Election Commission of India has received a total of 151 complaints so far, with eight complaints lodged by BJP and seven by Trinamool.

According to data from the Election Commission’s TURNOUT app, West Bengal recorded a voter participation rate of 15% by 9 am. The constituencies of Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri (SC), and Alipurduars (ST) are among the first to cast their votes in the seven-phase elections in West Bengal, which has 42 Lok Sabha seats. A total of 56,26,108 voters, including men, women, and third-gender individuals, are eligible to exercise their franchise across 5,814 polling booths in the first phase.

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