Kolkata : A BJP delegation met the West Bengal chief electoral officer on Monday and demanded deployment of central paramilitary forces at every polling booth and promulgation of Section 144 Cr PC in Bhabanipur constituency in the city during the by-poll on September 30 in view of the alleged attack on party leaders during the day and earlier.
The BJP delegation also demanded that the CEO Aarif Aftab disallow Kolkata Police from having direct control to maintain law and order in the constituency on the polling day to ensure free and fair poll.
Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta, who led the delegation, told reporters the BJP delegation informed the CEO how the party”s Barrackpore MP Arjun Singh was heckled near Hanuman Mandir in Bhabanipur during the day and had to return without campaigning.
“In a second incident, our former state president Dilip Ghosh was attacked by the same people who enjoyed the patronage of a family in the area. We have reported it to the CEO,” he said.
Campaigning for the by-poll, in which Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is a candidate, came to an end on Monday and was marked by rising of political temperatures.
The BJP MP said it was seen whenever there is a possibility of high voter turnout, the TMC resorts to such terror tactics. “We therefore urged the CEO to ensure that central forces are deployed in each booth and section 144 CRPC is enforced in the entire constituency”.
Asked about Ghosh”s demand for countermanding the by-poll in Bhabanipur, Dasgupta said “We want free and fair polls. What Dilip Ghosh said about countermanding Bhabanipur by-poll till the situation in the constituency returns to normal is based on his apprehension and real perception about the scope of holding free and fair polls.
“We want the Election Commission to take steps to instill confidence among people about holding elections without fear. We asked the chief electoral officer to see that the Kolkata Police is not in direct charge of holding polls,” he said.
BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh was on Monday pushed and heckled by alleged TMC supporters, prompting his security officer to whip out a pistol in Bhabanipur assembly constituency. The EC sought a report on the incident from the state.
Party MP Arjun Singh faced ”go-back” slogans from the ruling TMC workers while soliciting votes for party candidate Pryanka Tibrewal.
The incident involving Ghosh occurred when he inside a vaccination camp in Jodubabur Bazaar area in the constituency. TMC supporters present at the spot shouted slogans demanding that he leave, alleging that he was campaigning at a state-run vaccination programme which was not permitted.
Ghosh was whisked away by his security guards. He later alleged TMC supporters “attacked” him without provocation and injured a BJP activist.