Kolkata: The Trinamool 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 parliamentarian 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.
O’Brien alleged that central forces were “mercilessly” beating up Trinamool Congress workers.
“We are against violence and want the polling process to be peaceful. But the BJP is resorting to a high level of violence in the Bhatpara Assembly by-poll. This is dangerous for democracy,” he said.
“This is a horror story being executed with the full support of central forces,” O’Brien said.
In Bhatpara, an Assembly by-election is on with TMC candidate Madan Mitra taking on BJP’s Pawan Kumar Singh.
The Bhatpara seat was previously held by Arjun Singh of the Trinamool Congress, who recently defected to the BJP and is now the saffron party’s Lok Sabha candidate from the Barrackpore constituency. Pawan is the son of Arjun Singh.
The BJP termed the allegations baseless and said it was goons supported by the TMC who were trying to intimidate voters.
“They are afraid of their defeat, that is why TMC is resorting to violence. Had they been so confident about their victory then what is the need for so much of violence,” BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said.
In Delhi, BJP leader and Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman 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.
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