Kolkata, April 18 (IANS): West Bengal's opposition parties on Thursday accused the ruling Trinamool Congress of resorting to proxy voting in a number of booths of the high-profile Raiganj constituency.
A TV grab also showed two of the electors carrying voter slips failing to exercise their democratic right as their votes had already been cast. The polling officials manning the booth started passing the buck when they were confronted by the television correspondent.
"The Trinamool tried to cast proxy votes in around 150 polling booths in the rural segments of the constituency. We are analysing the inputs from our workers and polling agents. We can asecertain the exact figure after studying all the inputs," BJP candidate and party's state general secretary Debasree Chaudhuri told IANS over phone.
Chaudhuri also alleged that the Trinamool activists captured a few booths and indulged in rigging.
Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Pradip Bhattacharya alleged the Trinamool had cast proxy votes in around 14-15 booths in rural areas of Mohua as also the Islampur sub-division.
"They have committed such irregularities in around 14-15 booths," said Bhattacharya, a former state Congress president.
Earlier in the day, Bhattacharya had lodged a complaint before the Election Commission alleging violence in many polling stations of Raiganj where the central forces were not deployed.
"The Central forces were deployed mostly in urban areas like Raiganj town while state police personnel were deployed in many sensitive areas," he told reporters.
Speaking to IANS, Bhattacharya alleged that the election authorities had ignored the lists sent by the opposition parties where they presented their logic about declaring particular booths as sensitive.
"The officials discarded those lists, and only took cognisance of the lists sent by the Trinamool Congress. As a result, Central forces were deployed only in those booths where the Trinamool was weak. In areas, where the Trinamool has a strong organisation, they deployed the state armed police," he said.
The CPI-M also demanded repoll in 22 booths accusing Trinamool backed goons of indulign in rigging.
The star constituency of Raiganj in North Dinajpur district witnessed four-cornered battle between sitting MP and CPI-M candidate Mohammad Salim, Union Minister and Congress nominee Deepa Dasmunsi, Chaudhuri and Trinamool candidate Kanaia Lal Agarwal. Ten other candidates, including five Independents, are also in the fray.