As polling for the third phase of the West Bengal Assembly elections got underway, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Tuesday, 6 April, filed a complaint with the Election Commission after party MLA and candidate from Arambagh, Sujata Mondal was attacked in her constituency.
In a video circulated on social media, Mondal can be seen being attacked by a mob while cops try to shield her. Mondal alleged that men wearing masks pelted her with bricks and stones.
An officer who was with her sustained head injuries, reported ANI.
The attack took place at Arandi-I, Booth No. 263, Mahallapara, according to the complaint filed by TMC MP Derek O'Brien, who alleged that the attack was carried out by “goons of the BJP”.
Meanwhile, BJP Bengal’s social media and IT cell member Akshay Singh shared the video, calling it “massive public anger against the TMC”.
CRPF Personnel Mute Spectators: TMC
“Goons of the BJP attacked TMC candidate Sujata Mondal at Arandi-I booth no 263 Mahallapara. Her personal security officer suffered injuries on the head and is in a critical state. CRPF personnel were silent spectators,” O'Brien stated in the letter, as quoted by EC.
“You are called upon to apprehend the goons of BJP, ensure that no corrupt practices take place, ensure the safety of our workers/members, ensure that polls are conducted freely and fairly,” he added.
TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told ANI on Tuesday that BJP workers chased the TMC candidate and hit her on the head near the polling booth.
"We shall take legal action against such central force personnel. We shall file an FIR. They talk about Beti Bachao and beat up Sujata Mondal, who is also an SC candidate,” Banerjee said, as per the report.
TMC also tweeted a video of the incident stating that, “Petrifying visuals of BJP goons attacking TMC candidate Sujata Mandal, openly abusing her and threatening her with rods and sickle. If they have the guts to do this to a woman candidate, imagine what they can do to your daughters. This is their ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’”.
Banerjee had earlier taken to Twitter to criticise the alleged unabated misuse of central forces to openly intimidate TMC voters and influence voting in the favour of one party.
‘TMC Votes Going to BJP’
Mondal told ANI, “In Arandi-I area, we have minority and SC voters who love Mamata Banerjee. Goons of BJP threatened and tortured the women voters last night.”
She alleged that the situation was fine at many places, but not okay in places where TMC is strong. “At booth 45, people voted for TMC but the votes are going to BJP. In Arandi-II, our workers were beaten. Central forces are also not neutral. They're telling people to vote for BJP,” quoted ANI.
Mondal, who is the estranged wife of BJP MP Saumitra Khan, also alleged that she tried to help some voters who weren’t being allowed to vote, after which some men in masks hit her and her aides, added the report.
West Bengal Polling Snapshot
- 53.89% voting was recorded till 1pm.
- Thirty-one seats across three districts – South 24 Parganas, Howrah, and Hooghly – are casting their ballots.
- Most of these seats are traditional TMC bastions with the party having won 29 of them in the 2016 Assembly elections.
- Key candidates in the fray include Dr Nirmal Maji (TMC), Swapan Dasgupta (BJP), and Kanti Ganguly CPI(M).
- Among the 31 seats in the third phase, the CPI(M) is contesting 12 seats while the Congress is contesting seven seats. The BJP and TMC are contesting all 31 seats each.
(With inputs from ANI.)