Polling peaceful in Narayangarh, no booths captured: CPI-M’s Mishra

Kolkata, April 11 (IANS) CPI-M state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra, who is contesting from Narayangarh assembly constituency in West Bengal, on Monday said polling there was “overall peaceful”, with the Trinamool Congress failing to capture any of the booths.

“The elections were overall peaceful. There was trouble in some areas, but there were no major incidents. People have voted ignoring terror and intimidation,” Mishra, who is a doctor, told news channel Kolkata TV.

Mishra, who has been winning in the constituency under West Midnapore district since 1991, said it was his presence in the area that foiled the Trinamool’s plans to “loot votes” and so they got angry and staged demonstrations when he went to some of the booths.

“Over the past five years since the 2011 assembly polls,, none of the elections there was free and fair. They (Trinamool) looted votes, there was false voting. This time they couldn’t do it.

“I had said earlier that I will be there in the constituency from the night before polling. I did that. Their plans failed. So they were angry. The media was also there,” said Mishra, who is regarded as the “face” of the Left Front-Congress poll tie-up.

He said polling could go up to close to 90 percent at Narayangarh.

Asked about the role of the central forces, Mishra said he could not feel their presence on Sunday night, but saw them stationed in the booths on Monday.

On allegations that the central forces did not patrol in the villages, he said: “Yesterday (Sunday), I didn’t see them patrolling. But today (Monday), I was told in one area voters were obstructed, but they removed the trouble-makers.”

Earlier in the day, Mishra told the media that he had lodged complaints with the poll panel about electoral malpractices in 23 booths of the constituency.

“We had complained to the chief electoral officer about electoral malpractices and terrorisation in 23 booths. We have not seen such violence since 1977. After I complained, the number of troubled booths have come down to four,” Mishra said.

He exhorted people to stay calm and vote.

“This is the Trinamool’s culture. This is a sign of disappointment and defeat. Don’t get swayed,” he said at the CPI-M office in Belda of West Midnapore district.

Describing the Left Front-Congress tie-up as a people’s alliance, the CPI-M politburo member said “it will win everywhere”.

“It is the people’s alliance. Those who have come under attack over the past five years, have played the main role in forming the alliance. The parties and leaders have also played some part, but overall, this alliance has got its strength from the people’s desires.”

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