New Delhi, May 19: Defence minister Nirmala Sithraman has raised concerns over the poll violence in West Bengal and asked that if there will be a bloodbath by TMC workers after the voting ends and demanded the Central security forces to be deployed in the state till the Model Code of Conduct is in force.
She said that the voters are being intimidated and voters are not being allowed to cast their votes.
"To address these issues BJP demands that the Central security forces be deployed in the state till the Model Code of Conduct is in force," Nirmala Sitharaman said.
Polling across nine Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal started on Sunday morning amid a few incidents of sporadic violence and reports of EVM failures in several booths leading to either delay or stalling of the poll process, an official said.
Long queues of voters of various age groups were seen outside polling booths in the Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Jaynagar, Mathurapur, Diamond Harbour, Jadavpur, Kolkata South and Kolkata North constituencies.
Voting will end at 6 p.m.
"A number of EVM failures across constituencies has been reported and requisite actions are being taken," said the Election Commission official.
Polling process at three booths in Dum Dum's Nagerbazar area and another at South City College under the South Kolkata seat were delayed by more than an hour, voting did not begin be till 9.30 a.m. at a booth in Jadavpur's Sonarpur.
EVM failures at several booths in Diamond Harbour, Joynagar, Barasat, Dum Dum and both the constituencies of the eastern metropolis were reported.
Crude bombs were hurled at Raidighi in Mathurapur and voters were allegedly threatened by the activists of the state's ruling Trinamool Congress while a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) camp office was set ablaze in Rajarhat under the Barasat constituency.
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) North Kolkata candidate Kaninika Bose (Ghosh) alleged that polling agents were beaten up and not allowed to sit inside the booths.
She staged a protest demonstration in Belgachia demanding intervention of security personnel.
In Basirhat, the BJP's Sayantan Basu and CPI candidate Pallab Sengupta alleged their polling agents were not allowed to sit at 650-700 booths.
Trinamool's Kolkata South candidate Mala Roy alleged that she was not allowed to enter a polling booth at Mudiali by the central forces after an EVM failure at the concerned booth was reported.At least 1,49,10,643 eligible voters will decide the fate of 111 candidates in 17,058 polling booths across the nine seats.
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