Hours before voting began in the Indian state of West Bengal on Thursday, Uttam Dolui, a member of the state's ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), was allegedly stabbed to death early in the morning in the Paschim Medinipur district.
Police said the 48-year-old was at a club in the village of Keshpur when around 10-15 people purportedly attacked him with sharp weapons. He died on the way to the hospital.
The victim's family alleged that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) "goons" attacked him to create tension in the area.
TMC Accuses BJP Candidate of Bribery
Meanwhile, in the Debra constituency, TMC has accused BJP candidate Bharati Ghosh of distributing money to voters outside the polling booth to favour the federally-governing party. TMC said this started on Wednesday and the central forces are not helping.
A TMC worker stabbed to death in Keshpur under #PaschimMedinipore district hours before polling started in the area. Death of Uttam Doloi has triggered tension in Keshpur. #BengalElection2021 #WestBengalElection2021— Sweety Kumari (Mishra) (@SweetyKMishra) April 1, 2021
Minor clashes between TMC and BJP workers have been reported in several parts of West Bengal.
WB: Ruckus near a polling booth in Debra, security forces present. Voters say, "Parties called goons from outside. We're locals, why will we create unrest? Candidate brought people here, she wants to create issue." #BJP's Bharti Ghosh & TMC's Humayun Kabir contesting from here. pic.twitter.com/CWSuaTytW6— DailyaddaaNews (@Dailyaddaa) April 1, 2021
West Bengal: CPIM workers agitated at Ghatal today, alleged that they were being stopped by TMC workers as they were on their way to cast their vote— ANI (@ANI) April 1, 2021
Later, security forces reached the spot and removed the road blockade pic.twitter.com/pZvC8BQMxz
The ruling TMC and BJP are locked in a bitter contest in West Bengal. TMC is headed by two-time State Chief Mamata Banerjee.
During this phase, the election will also be held in Nandigram, one of the most prestigious constituencies in all of West Bengal, where State Chief Banerjee is being challenged by BJP leader and former aide Suvendu Adhikari.
Adhikari joined the BJP in December 2020. He was a TMC member for 10 years.
Nandigram is where Banerjee and Adhikari both started their political careers in 2007.