India’s West Bengalpolls: Violence rises; one dead in hand grenade attack
People turned up in large numbers to cast their votes in India’s eastern West Bengal state amid tight security as the third phase of assembly elections began on Thursday (April 21).
The Election Commission has deployed scores of armed security personnel at every polling booth across 62 constituencies where polling is held to prevent any untoward incident.
“I am satisfied. The system is working well. The voting is going on well. There is no problem,” said Abhishek Banerjee, a voter, in Kolkata city.
Violence, bomb blasts and clashes between political activists had marred the first phase of polling in the state.
Another voter, Sagarika Sen, said in Murshidabad the politicians didn’t keep their words.
“There is no electricity in the area, where I am living and roads are broken. Everybody promises big before election but once voting is over, nothing changes,” said Sen.
India’s regional TMC has been ruling West Bengal since 2011 after dislodging the Communist government which ruled the state for 34 years.
Elections are being held in West Bengal alongwith three states and a union territory. The state elections are crucial to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upper house of parliament where it lacks majority.