Clashes have reportedly erupted between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers amid the municipal corporation byelections at Asansol (ward 6) and Bongaon (ward 14) in West Bengal on Sunday, 21 August.
Voting for the bypolls began at 7 am on Sunday in the presence of tight security.
Speaking to news agency ANI, BJP MLA Laxman Ghorui alleged, "We had come to see whether polling was going on peacefully or not, but TMC supporters attacked us. TMC is rigging votes being cast."
As per an India Today report, a scuffle broke out at two polling booths in the Bongaon constituency as well. BJP workers have reportedly alleged that some goons from the TMC had been obstructing the polling process by looting votes. Additional police force had to be rushed to the spot after Swapan Majumder, BJP MLA from Bongaon South, and a few women supporters of the party were allegedly beaten up by TMC workers.
Reportedly, the members of the two parties also had a heated argument over TMC candidate Papai Raha saying that BJP MLA Ashok Kirtaniya brought outsiders to a polling station after the voting started. The BJP, however, has refuted the claims.
The bypoll is being held at Bongaon as TMC's Dilip Das passed away a few days after he was elected as the councillor in ward 14 of the constituency. TMC's Papai Raha is pitted against BJP’s Arup Kumar Pal, CPI(M)'s trade union leader Dritiman, and Pravas Pal of the Congress.
Similarly, the resignation of TMC councillor Sanjay Chakrabarti had necessitated a bypoll at Asansol. In this constituency, TMC's Bidhan Upadhyay is contesting against BJP's Sridip Chakrabarti, CPIM's Subhasis Mondal, and Congress's Somnath Chatterjee.
(With inputs from ANI, India Today.)