Lok Sabha phase 4 voting: Clashes in Bengal, Andhra Pradesh

Clashes erupted between Trinamool Congress and BJP workers in Bengal, while YSRCP and TDP cadres came to blows in Andhra Pradesh as voting for the fourth phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections was underway on 96 seats across 10 states and Union Territories.

May 13, 2024 - 17:08
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Lok Sabha phase 4 voting: Clashes in Bengal, Andhra Pradesh

Clashes erupted between Trinamool Congress and BJP workers in Bengal, while YSRCP and TDP cadres came to blows in Andhra Pradesh as voting for the fourth phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections was underway on 96 seats across 10 states and Union Territories.

In Bengal, where violence has marred previous rounds of voting, a Trinamool Congress worker was killed in a crude bomb attack. The incident took place in the Bolpur Lok Sabha constituency, mere hours before polling was scheduled to begin.

The YS Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSRCP and N Chandrababu Naidu's TDP traded allegations of violence against each other's leaders and supporters at multiple locations throughout Andhra Pradesh, especially in Palnadu, Kadapa and Annamayya districts.

After four hours of polling, turnout was at 52.60 percent. West Bengal topped with 66.05 percent voter turnout, while Jammu and Kashmir was at the bottom of the table with 29.83 percent.

Polling is being conducted simultaneously on all 175 Assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh and 28 legislative assembly seats in Odisha.

A scuffle broke out at a polling booth in Andhra Pradesh's Tenali involving YSRCP MLA Sivakumar, his followers, and voters waiting in line to cast their ballots. In a video circulating online, the MLA was seen slapping a voter at the polling booth. After the voter gave it back to Sivakumar, the YSRCP leader’s supporters jumped in to retaliate.

Bengal once again witnessed sporadic violence on polling day, with the ruling Trinamool Congress and the BJP trading blame. Workers from the two parties clashed in Durgapur as polling was underway. In Birbhum, the BJP accused TMC cadres of vandalizing their stall outside a polling station.

A Trinamool Congress worker was killed when unidentified men lobbed a crude bomb at him in Bolpur, Purba Bardhaman district. The victim, Mintu Sheikh, was returning home late on Sunday night when he was attacked. Locals said he died on the spot.

BJP's Hyderabad candidate Madhavi Latha stirred a controversy after a video surfaced showing her checking the identities of Muslim women voters at a polling station. Following this, a police complaint was lodged against her under various sections of IPC, including 295A, which addresses intentional acts that offend religious sentiments.

However, Latha defended her actions, saying, "Ninety percent of booths are compromised. Police do not want to instruct female constables to check the face with the voter ID. When I asked the police officer, he said it's not his responsibility."

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