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4 shot dead as violent clashes erupt between TMC, BJP workers in Bengal

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Kolkata, Apr 10: Four persons have been shot dead in Bengal's Cooch Behar following violent clashed between the TMC and BJP workers.

PTI quoting sources said that the CISF allegedly opened fire after coming under attack in Sitalkuchi in Bengal's Cooch Behar district.

4 shot dead as violent clashes erupt between TMC, BJP workers in Bengal

As polling for the fourth phase of the West Bengal elections began at 7 today, tension gripped polling booth number 285 in Sitalkuchi of Cooch Behar as bombs were hurled. Some groups allegedly opened fire when the police recovered several crude bombs from the area. The police had to resort to lathicharge to defuse tensions.

Earlier the TMC wrote to the Election Commission stating that across several booths in Sitalkuchi, Natalbari, Tufanganj and Dinhata, BJP workers were creating a ruckus and preventing the TMC agents from entering the booths.

North Bengal, with its 54 seats spread across seven districts, has all the wherewithal to be a game-changer this election, with the BJP striving hard to hold its fort in the region, and the TMC seeking to recover its lost ground amid changing political equations.

Once considered a bastion of the Congress and the Left Front, north Bengal districts - mostly dominated by tribal and minority communities -- have largely remained out of bounds for the TMC, barring a brief period of time.

The ruling camp had managed to fare well in 2016 state polls, when it bagged 25 seats in the region, but the subsequent general election in 2019 changed the course of the wind in favour of the BJP, which won seven of the eight Lok Sabha seats and stayed ahead in 35 assembly segments.

The TMC, which pulled up its socks after the Lok Sabha poll debacle, has, however, managed to woo back GJM leader Bimal Gurung, who holds sway over at least 15 assembly seats and 11 Gorkha communities.

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