Sporadic cases of violence in pockets of Agartala and past, opposition events alleging rampant ballot malpractice and voter intimidation whereas the ruling BJP dispensation claimed honest elections “hitherto unseen in the history of the State” and a excessive voter turnout regardless of these odds marked the highlights of the Tripura civic physique polls on Thursday.
Contests had been held in 225 seats, together with 51 wards of the Agartala Municipal Company, throughout 13 Nagar Panchayat and municipal our bodies unfold throughout 20 police station areas.
The run-up to the largely triangular contest between the BJP, Left and the most recent entrant, Trinamool Congress, was marred by allegations of large-scale violence which warranted interventions from the Tripura Excessive Courtroom and the Supreme Courtroom to make sure that the State took sufficient measures for a free, honest and violence-free election.
The day, nevertheless, started with the Trinamool Congress candidate from ward no 12 of the Ambassa Municipal Council alleging that her home was ransacked the earlier evening with sticks and stones by unidentified miscreants sheltered by the BJP who threatened her and her household with dire penalties until they remained indoors and never come out to vote.
Even earlier than the primary hour of voting was over, Trinamool ballot brokers with head and physique accidents from completely different components of Agartala started arriving on the Govind Ballav Pant Medical Faculty and Hospital for remedy alleging assault from BJP staff.
Complaints of violence and large-scale intimidation of voters had been obtained from ward numbers 51, 50, 15, 8, 6,5 and a pair of. Trinamool Congress filed practically 100 complaints earlier than the state Election Fee and later took to the streets, organising a sit-in demonstration earlier than the East Agartala police station from the place leaders, together with the chief of the get together’s State steering committee Subal Bhowmik, had been detained and later launched.
The CPI-M, then again, demanded full countermanding of the Agartala civic polls and whole repoll in all 51 wards of the civic physique on comparable grounds. That demand additionally discovered resonance with the Trinamool Congress. Each events plan to maneuver Supreme Courtroom on Friday on grounds of contempt.
A number of Trinamool candidates with grievous physique accidents had been noticed within the latter a part of the day on the GB Pant Hospital. Tapan Biswas from ward quantity 51 alleged he sustained severe accidents on his eyes and face after he was assaulted by goons sheltered by the BJP. Padma Bhattacharya, the candidate from ward quantity 8, sitting anxiously earlier than the hospital’s trauma care centre alleged her son, Dhiman, had his cranium cracked open and shoulder badly harm after a bunch of 5-6 BJP staff assaulted him when he had gone to solid his vote.
“The allegations are largely exaggerated. The Trinamool is playing to the gallery because they do not have any real ground presence. Some reports of violence were received from a couple of wards among the 225 which went for polls. That is a minuscule percentage. The Left is on its way out for good and is desperately trying to hold on to straws like these for existence,” mentioned Tinku Roy, Common Secretary, Tripura BJP, whereas summing up the day’s experiences.
“We are happy with the way polls have happened in the State today and we are confident that the government’s performance for the development of urban areas will be recognised by people in these elections,” he added.
The costs, counter-charges however, the spotlight of the day was maybe BJP MLA Sudip Roy Burman taking to the streets after receiving misery calls from staff of opposition events. “These people were previously workers of the BJP. They may now be working for other parties and are at the receiving end of aggravated assault. I am an elected representative of all citizens of my constituency, irrespective of their political affiliation and it is my duty to stand beside them when they are in distress. I will try to get them back to my party if I retain their confidence,” Roy Burman mentioned whereas comforting a Trinamool Congress ballot agent and a CPIM candidate in ward quantity 8, each of who alleged they had been assaulted and intimidated by BJP staff.
Roy Burman had not too long ago lashed out at Chief Minister Biplab Deb and blamed him for “administrative incompetence” on account of the pre-poll cases of violence. Until studies had been final obtained, the general voter turnout at 4 pm was practically 75 per cent. Political observers termed the quantity as “impressive”.