KMC Election: BJP alleges rigging and violence, demands repolling

News Desk: Alleging large-scale rigging during the Kolkata Municipal Corporation elections, opposition BJP on Sunday met West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and urged him to take steps to countermand the civic polls.

Leader of Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari claimed that there were over 100 instances of irregularities during the polls, and not more than 20 per cent of the electorate could cast votes.

“Most CCTVs were non-functional with papers and stickers pasted on the camera or their connection points pulled out? The chief minister is turning the state into a dictator run republic,? he said.

Sporadic incidents of violence including hurling of bombs at two booths and skirmishes between political workers marred an otherwise humdrum polling as 63.63 per cent of the nearly 40.5 lakh voters exercised their franchise till 5 pm on Sunday, when voting ended.

High drama was witnessed outside a Salt Lake area house where Adhikari was holding a meeting with party MLAs, after the Bidhannagar city police cordoned off the entire area and stopped him from leaving for Raj Bhawan, where he was scheduled to meet the Governor, citing a directive of the State Election Commission that non-residents cannot enter the city on polling day.

In a video that surfaced on social media, BJP vice-president Jay Prakash Majumder was seen arguing with police officers, asking them on what grounds were they taking such action.

A deputy commissioner rank officer was heard telling him: “We cannot allow you to proceed to Kolkata as polling is being held and you are not residents of the metropolis.”

Adhikari also alleged he was manhandled by a junior police officer, and that the gates of the MLA hostel in Kolkata were locked till 5 pm, preventing eight BJP legislators from attending a legislature party meeting.

Later, the governor, in a tweet, said: ?BJP delegation led by LOP @Suvendu WB has urged the Governor to take steps to declare polls #KMC null and void in view of rampant violence, rigging and @Kolkata Police acting for ruling party. A thorough probe was sought in the locking of opposition MLAs in the hostel.

“Delegation also sought investigation into the virtual house arrest @bidhannagar PC of LOP @Suvendu WB and several MLAs, being reminiscent of emergency. According to them, ruling party Ministers and MLAs had free run with support @Kolkata Police.”

A BJP delegation on Sunday evening submitted various footages and documents to the SEC, demanding repolling.

Adhikari said the KMC elections is being monitored by the Calcutta High Court, and the party will also submit footages in support of its claims to the court on December 23.

“I saw her (CM Mamata Banerjee) thanking police for having stopped outsiders. How long will she keep labelling residents of the state as outsiders?? the leader of opposition added.