BJP blames TMC of rigging, demands re-election in West Bengal

BJP alleged that the party candidate from Barrackpore Arjun Singh was thrashed allegedly by Trinamool Congress \'goons\'.

New Delhi: BJP alleged that rigging took place during polling for the Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat in West Bengal on Monday and demanded re-election in the entire constituency.

BJP candidate from Barrackpore Arjun Singh was thrashed allegedly by Trinamool Congress "goons", said the party leader.

"We demand re-election in the Barrackpore Lok Sabha constituency because the polls have been rigged there. The election is not taking place in a fair manner. Polling officials and voters are being threatened and central forces are not being allowed to discharge their duty," Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said at a press conference at the BJP headquarters here.

He said, "West Bengal has witnessed large-scale violence in all the phases of the elections till now. In the last phase (on April 29), Union Minister Babul Supriyo was attacked and his car damaged. Today our Barrackpore candidate Arjun Singh has been thrashed by TMC goons."

Javadekar also said that his party had sought the transfer of the Barrackpore superintendent of police but no action was taken. "The SP was not transferred that is why the violence is being reported from Barrackpore," he said.

Earlier in the day, Arjun Singh alleged that he was attacked by TMC supporters. "The TMC goons have been brought from outside. Those people are scaring away our voters. I am injured," he said.

Javadekar said that several polling agents were not allowed to enter polling booths in the constituency.

"TMC workers are threatening voters who are not in their favour and not letting them vote. We have received complaints from many places that TMC goons are accompanying voters to the polling stations and pressing the electronic voting machines having their party symbol," the Human Resource Development Minister said.

He also claimed that the rigging occurred in Srerampur Lok Sabha constituency in the state.

BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao accused Mamata Banerjee-led TMC of unleashing violence in West Bengal as it feared defeat in the elections.

"Mamata Banerjee is losing (the polls) and that is why her party is resorting to rigging. They are also threatening Election Commission officials," he said.

Voting is underway in 51 Lok Sabha seats across seven states in the fifth phase of the general elections. Counting of votes will be held on May 23.

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