Bengal Election 2021: Multiple Reports of Voter Turnout Discrepancy, EVM Malfunction

Today marks the second phase of the West Bengal Assembly Elections, 2021. Nandigram, with 80.43 %, witnessed the highest voter turnout. However, the TMC suspects foul-play.

Updated: 1st April, 18:06 PM IST

Kolkata: As West Bengal ushered in the second phase of the State Assembly Elections, 2021, the electoral battle got ugly with name calling, rigging reports and violence at polling booths. The election will take place in eight phases out of which this is only the second.

In the second phase of the polls, a total of 30 Assembly constituencies from the districts of Bankura, Paschim Medinipur and Purba Medinipur are heading in to vote. Out of the 171 candidates in the mix, 152 are men and the remaining are women. It means only 11 per cent of the candidates are women.

As per reports, Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’ Brian has filed a complaint with the Election Commission of India against the Bharatiya Janta Party. The complaint said that the Bharatiya Janta Party workers captured booths at the Nandigram constituency during the polling phase. Nandigram is set to witness the most high-profile contest with Banerjee and her former ministerial colleague and now BJP candidate, Suvendu Adhikari taking on each other.

“Huge mob of BJP workers has entered booth numbers 6, 7, 49, 27, 162, 21, 26, 13, 262, 256, 163 and 20. The BJP workers are attempting to take control of EVM and rigging the booth,” Derek O’Brien said in his complaint to the EC. “The BJP need to stop their mind games. It is very obvious that they are sensing defeat. Trinamool agents are rock-solid in 354 booths in Nandigram. We registered complaints for 10 or 11 specific booths. All of them are influenced by the CRPF. People of Nandigram are determined to have Mamata Banerjee as their MLA and she will become the CM for the third time,” he said.

Voter turnout in WB Second Phase of Elections 2021

Mahua Moitra also took to Twitter and confirmed this by saying that over 150 EVMs or Electoral Voting Machines have been compromised in the second phase of the West Bengal Assembly Elections.
Following this complaint the Election Commission has imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code in and around Nandigram till Friday to ensure a free and fair election.

However, all is not well as Mamata Bannerjee has alleged that the EC is not doing its duty and is in fact acting on the instructions of Amit Shah. She even added that she will move to the court if she has to. “We have lodged 63 complaints since morning. But no action has been taken. We will move court over it. This is unacceptable,” the chief minister said. According to TMC’s complaint, many voters reported pressing the button for TMC on the electronic voting machine but instead it would automatically register a vote for the BJP.

When asked to comment, Adhikari responded by calling Mamata Bannerjee the queen of rigging.

Written by : Khadija Khan
(With Inputs from ANI)