TMC candidate Sujata Mondal attacked by BJP workers, alleges party
As voting progressed for the third phase of polling in West Bengal, Trinamool Congress (TMC) candidate Sujata Mondal was allegedly attacked by workers of the rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The TMC, the ruling party in West Bengal, alleged that Mondal was chased out of a polling booth and hit on her head. The party urged the Election Commission to look into the matter.
Mondal, the TMC candidate from Arambagh, was allegedly chased out of a voting booth in the Arandi area of the constituency. A video released by the TMC showed a group of people chasing Mondal in a field as she is escorted to safety. The group also pelted stones at her. It has been alleged that Mondal was hit on the head.
Petrifying visuals of @BJP4India goons attacking TMC candidate #SujataMandal, openly abusing her threatening her with rods sickle. If they have the guts to do this to a female candidate, imagine what they can do to your daughters. This is their ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ pic.twitter.com/uBh4oTyNeR— All India Trinamool Congress (@AITCofficial) April 6, 2021
Mondal has accused the BJP of creating chaos and threatening Trinamool supporters in Arambagh. She said she was visiting polling booths in Arandi after receiving reports that BJP members were not allowing people to cast their votes. She also told ANI, "At booth no 45 in Batanal, despite pressing the symbol of TMC, the vote is going for the BJP."
TMC MP Derek O'Brien wrote to the Election Commission, asking it to apprehend the BJP "goons." He also urged action against the CRPF personnel for inaction. "Goons of BJP attacked TMC candidate Sujata Mondal at Arandi-I booth number 263 Mahallapara. Her personal security officer has suffered injuries on the head and is in a critical state," O'Brien was quoted as saying by ANI.
Addressing a rally in Alipurduar, TMC supremo and WB Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleged that she has received 100 complaints of assault and violence since the morning. The EC has been informed, but to no avail, she said. She also said that another TMC candidate in Khanakul was assaulted, while security forces in Canning East allegedly prevented nominee Shaukat Mollah from entering a booth.
The BJP has denied the allegations. Mondal's BJP rival from Arambagh, Madhusudhan Bag, told PTI, "It was the villagers who put up a resistance when the TMC leader tried intimidating them." According to reports, villagers in Arandi said that Mondal barged into their homes and misbehaved with them. Visuals showed Mondal locked into an argument with villagers.
West Bengal is currently undergoing its eight-phase Assembly elections. The third phase of the elections is underway on Tuesday. 31 Assembly seats are going to poll on the day. The last day of polling is April 29 and the votes will be counted on May 2. Both the BJP and the TMC have accused each other of foul play in the election.