Though there was no major untoward incident during the polls to 81 civic bodies across West Bengal on Sunday, leaders of the Left Front, the Trinamool Congress and the Congress accused each other of provoking and attempting to incite violence.
The Left Front leadership applauded the “democratically-minded people” of the State “for not falling prey to the provocations and attempts by the Trinamool Congress and the Congress to create unrest during the polls.”
Senior Trinamool Congress leader Mukul Roy thanked the people on behalf of his party for coming out to vote in large numbers despite “provocations” by supporters of the Left parties. He felt that “though these were civic polls, the outcome would certainly have an impact on the Assembly elections.”
West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee working president Pradip Bhattacharya described the elections as “relatively peaceful.”
The Trinamool and the Congress tried to create a situation of lawlessness in the polling booths of some wards of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, but despite that no major incident of violence was reported, the Left Front claimed.
The statement also detailed incidents of violence perpetrated by supporters of the Trinamool and the Congress in the districts, including an attack on a candidate of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and destruction of an electronic voting machine (EVM).
The Trinamool leadership alleged that the number of dysfunctional EVMs in the civic polls was “unprecedented.” Suspecting that this could be the result of tampering of the machines, party leader Mukul Roy said whatever the designs of those responsible for this, his party had “full faith in the people” and whatever the outcome of the elections it “will bow to the people's verdict.”
Mr. Roy pointed out that since the panchayat elections in 2008, people were giving their verdict against the State government and the ruling parties in every poll. These include the Lok Sabha elections last year.
He also alleged polling irregularities in certain wards where the Trinamool candidates as well as agents were “manhandled.” His party would demand re-poll in certain booths that fall within the Jadavapur Assembly constituency that is represented by Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.