Just as it happened after the first two phases of the West Bengal Assembly polls, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) again finds itself on the back foot after Wednesday's third phase, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee claimed here on Wednesday.
Out of the 179 constituencies where elections had been held so far, 170 seats would go to the Trinamool-Congress alliance, she told a local Bengali television channel — a claim dismissed later by the State's Left Front Committee chairman, Biman Bose.
On the day's voting, Ms. Banerjee said the CPI(M) “will not get a single seat in South 24 Parganas district and will lose [also] in North 24 Parganas.”
“This third phase (75 seats) was very important,” she pointed out.
Ms. Banerjee said she had received reports of rigging by CPI(M) activists in certain areas including some booths in the Jadavpur constituency, from where Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee is seeking re-election. The Election Commission was informed.
Attempts were also made by the CPI(M) “to slow the polling process” in areas in Rajarhat and Salt Lake in North 24 Parganas district.”
As for the remaining three phases of voting, she said there were areas in the Arambagh sub-division (in Hooghly district), Medinipur, Bankura and Purulia which were very sensitive. Voter security should be ensured there.
“The joint security operations [in the Maoist-affected areas in the Jangal Mahal region] have so far been under the direction of the State police. That can no longer happen now as the forces are under the Election Commission,” said Ms. Banerjee, who has been critical of the joint operations against Maoists in the region.