Video: Bengal BJP Candidate Forced To Run As Protesters Throw Stones

Amid largely peaceful polling in West Bengal in the sixth phase on Saturday, the BJP's Lok Sabha candidate from Jhargram had to run away from the Mangalapota area of Garbeta in West Midnapore district as stones were thrown at him.

May 25, 2024 - 17:45
Video: Bengal BJP Candidate Forced To Run As Protesters Throw Stones

The BJP's Lok Sabha candidate from Jhargram had to run away from the Mangalapota area of ​​Garbeta in West Midnapore district as stones were thrown at him and his security personnel during the sixth phase of polling on Saturday. 

Dramatic visuals showed security personnel carrying shields trying to protect the candidate, Pranat Tudu, as some people chase after him and a large stone hits a person just centimetres away. As a few more stones rained down around them, the candidate, security officers and some media personnel can be seen making a run for it. 

While Mr Tudu has blamed "Trinamool Congress (TMC) goons" for the incident and claimed two of his security personnel suffered head injuries and had to be hospitalised, the ruling party in Bengal said his security officers assaulted a woman while she was waiting in line to cast her vote outside a polling booth. This, they said, triggered a protest. 

In a post on X, the BJP's Bengal co-incharge, Amit Malviya, also blamed the TMC for the attack and claimed that people are voting to "kick out" Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's party.

'Threw Bricks'

According to the BJP, Mr Tudu was on his way to some polling booths in Garpeta after receiving reports that the party's agents were not being allowed inside. 

"All of a sudden, TMC goons who had blocked the roads started hurling bricks at my car. When my security personnel tried to intervene, they were injured. Two CISF jawans accompanying me received head injuries and had to be hospitalised," Mr Tudu was quoted as saying by news agency PTI. 

The TMC, however, claimed Mr Tudu's security personnel attacked a woman who was waiting in line to vote. "The villagers got enraged and staged a protest," a party leader said. 

Vehicles being used by media personnel were also vandalised by the crowd. A police team has been sent to the area to control the situation, the PTI report said. 

The Jhargram Lok Sabha constituency was one of 18 won by the BJP in West Bengal in 2019, up from only two in the general elections before that. The BJP candidate in 2019, Kunar Hembram, had beaten the Trinamool pick, Birbaha Saren, by a margin of only about 12,000 votes.

The contest this time is between Mr Tudu, Kalipada Soren of the Trinamool Congress and Sonamamu Murmu (Tudu) of the CPM. 

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