Assembly polls: CPI(M) agent beaten up, bombs recovered near election booth

Polling is being held in 31 Assembly seats of Burdwan, Bankura and West Midnapore districts.

Burdwan/Guwahati: A CPI(M) agent was allegedly beaten up by Trinamool Congress workers and obstructed from entering a polling booth, while bombs were found in two bags near another booth in Jamuria Assembly constituency in Burdwan district where polling is underway on Monday.

A police official said two CPI(M) agents were obstructed from entering booth numbers 76 and 77 of Jamuria seat, just as polling began at 7 am.

One of the agents sustained head injury after he was beaten up allegedly by Trinamool Congress workers. The injured person was taken to the nearest Primary Health Centre.

A Trinamool Congress worker, Sheikh Shamser, was arrested in this connection, the official said.

In another incident, two bags containing bombs were found near booth number 35 under Jamuria seat. Police personnel were making arrangements to defuse the bombs.

Polling is being held in 31 Assembly seats of Burdwan, Bankura and West Midnapore districts during the second part of phase one of elections.

In another incident, a 3rd polling officer died of heart attack at polling booth number 234 under Pandaveswar Assembly seat in Burdwan district.

Parimal Bauri died inside the booth, which disrupted polling for some time, district election office said. Voting resumed after another person took charge in his place. Bauri was a resident of Jamuria in Burdwan district.

Meanwhile, the second and final phase of Assam Assembly elections began at 7 am amid tight security to decide the fate of 525 candidates in 61 of the 126 constituencies with ruling Congress, BJP-AGP-BPF alliance and AIUDF locked in a keen contest.

An electorate of 1,04,35,271, comprising 53,91,204 males, 50,44,051 females and 22 others, will exercise their franchise in 12,699 polling stations to decide the fate of 477 male and 48 female candidates in Lower and Central Assam.

More than 50,000 polling personnel have been deployed with security tightened across the constituencies, particularly those in four Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) where NDFB(S) militants are active and in Goalpara district which recently witnessed a bomb blast.

Security has been also stepped up in minority dominated constituencies. A strict vigil is being maintained along the Indo-Bangla border in Dhubri district and Indo-Bhutan border in Baksa district.

While Congress is contesting in 57 seats, AIUDF, the major opposition party in the outgoing assembly, in 47, BJP in 35 while its allies--the Bodo Peoples' Front (BPF) in 10 and Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) in 19. CPI(M) is contesting in nine, CPI in five, unrecognised parties in 129 and independents in 214.

Among the prominent candidates are cabinet ministers Rakibul Hussain, Chandan Sarkar and Nazrul Islam for the Congress, former two-time AGP Chief Minister Prafulla Mahanta, AIUDF Chief and Dhubri MP Badruddin Ajmal and former Congress minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who led a dissidence against the Chief Minister before joining the BJP last year.

While Congress looks forward to retain power for the fourth successive term, BJP called for a 'parivartan' (change) and AIUDF aims to play the king-maker in the formation of the next government.

( Source : PTI )
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