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Allegations of violence mark bypolls in two Bengal civic bodies

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Kolkata, Aug 21: By-elections were held on Sunday in two wards of Bongaon Municipality and Asansol Municipal Corporation amid allegations of violence. The BJP alleged that its Bongaon South MLA Swapan Majumdar and Bongaon North legislator Asok Kirtania were manhandled by TMC supporters when they protested alleged riggings in ward 14 of the civic body in North 24 Parganas.

Allegations of violence mark bypolls in two West Bengal civic bodies

BJP workers blocked a road for about an hour in protest, while the ruling TMC denied the charges. Election in the ward was necessitated due to the death of TMC councillor Dilip Das. While TMC fielded Papai Raha, BJP nominated Arup Pal.

The CPIM and Congress were also in the fray. Sporadic incidents of violence were also reported from ward 6 of Asansol in Paschim Bardhaman district. The election there was held following the resignation of TMC councillor Sanjay Chakrabarti.

TMC nominated Bidhan Upadhyay, while BJP fielded Sridip Chakrabarti from the seat. The BJP alleged its Durgapur West MLA Lakshman Ghorui was stopped from entering a booth at JK Nagar More. It also alleged that its polling agent in booth 82 was beaten up.

TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh, however, denied the allegations levelled by the BJP. "BJP is scared of losing and hence cooking up stories. BJP can only make noises but has no organisational or support base.

People are with TMC," he claimed. State Election Commission secretary Nilanjan Shandilya told PTI that voting took place peacefully in both wards with no major incidents reported. Asked about allegations of BJP, he said the SEC has sought reports for necessary actions. Till 5 pm, ward 14 of Bongaon recorded 82.71 per cent turnout, while ward 6 of Asansol recorded 82.62 per cent polling.

There were 4,776 voters in ward 14 of Bongaon, and 10,006 voters in ward 6 of Asansol.

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