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West Bengal: Amid poll violence in state BJP candidate Dilip Ghosh and TMC candidate Kirti Azad display rare act of bonhomie

Bardhaman: Amid reports of violence in several parts of West Bengal during the fourth phase of elections, a rare display of bonhomie was witnessed between BJP MP and Bardhaman-Durgapur Lok Sabha seat candidate Dilip Ghosh and Trinamool Congress candidate from the same constituency Kirti Azad on Monday.
BJP leader Dilip Ghosh and cricketer-turned-politician Kirti Azad hugged each other while going to a polling booth in Bardhaman.
Earlier, a clash broke out between BJP and Trinamool Congress workers in Durgapur.
In Birbhum, BJP workers alleged that their stall outside a polling station was vandalised by workers of the ruling Trinamool Congress.
TMC leader Ram Prasad Haldar said, "Since 6 am these (BJP) people have been coming with the central forces and trying to influence the voters. We protested against it, and voters also protested. They are trying to bring polling agents from outside. Central forces are threatening the people and influencing them. People of the area are opposing them here. They are trying to bring polling agents from outside."
BJP MLA Laxman Ghorui alleged that their polling agents were thrown out of the polling booth located at TN School in Durgapur.
Ghorui said, "Our polling agents were repeatedly thrown out of the polling booth located at TN School in Durgapur. Alpana Mukherjee from booth number 22, Somnath Mandal from booth number 83 and Rahul Sahni from booth number 82 were repeatedly thrown out of the polling booth by TMC goons."
He further said that he had called up and informed the SDO who he alleged responded after three telephone calls were made to him and only after the arrival of media persons.
"The behaviour of the presiding officer is very bad. He came at 6 am and was not letting us inside. TMC goons since 6 am misbehaved with voters and women. The women were crying. When I reached, the presiding officer did not allow me to enter. Only when the press came and after the intervention of the SDO, we are now being allowed to enter," he said.
Dilip Ghosh alleged that "goons of TMC" were preventing the polling agents from entering the booths.
Ghosh said, "When I went to villages, women asked me with folded hands if they would be able to cast their votes or not. It is their (TMC) habit to threaten people who want to cast their votes. The goons of TMC are not letting the polling agents enter the booths, including the presiding officer. Yesterday night, they threatened people in certain areas not to come out to vote. I hope the situation will improve and voting will be done smoothly. I will reach the places wherever required."
Voting for the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha elections in 96 Parliamentary Constituencies across nine states and one Union Territory began on Monday at 7:00 am. Eight seats in West Bengal have gone to the polls today.
Though still a part of the Opposition bloc--INDIA, the TMC chose to go it alone in Bengal and announced candidates for all 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
The Congress and the Left Front have a seat-sharing arrangement in the state under which the Left parties contest 30 seats and the Congress contests the remaining 12 seats.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the TMC took the lion's share of the electoral spoils in the state, at 34, while the BJP had to be content with just 2 seats. The CPI(M) and the Congress won 2 and 4 seats, respectively.
However, in a poll stunner that few saw coming, the BJP turned the tables on the ruling TMC in the 2019 polls, winning 18 seats. The ruling party in the state saw its tally reduced to 22. The Congress fared a lowly third in the tally with just 2 seats while the Left Front was down to just a lone seat.

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