Although massive security arrangement have been made, allegations of political intimidation surfaced in East Tripura constituency as a large number of voters claimed that they were forced to return from polling stations without casting votes.
Hirendra Das, a former Gram Pradhan at Jagannathpur village in North Tripura district, alleged that BJP supporters stopped him on his way to Jagannathpur Senior Basic School in the area and sent him back.
“They told me to return home without voting and threatened that I would lose my respect if I insisted. There were no security personnel present to prevent this intimidation,” Indian Express quoted Das as saying.
Das, who identified himself as a CPI(M) leader claimed that communists and Congress supporters were categorically targeted by BJP supporters during the poll hours.
Sudarshan Rabi Das, a worker at Jagannathpur tea garden at Fatikroy, claimed he was forced to return home without casting vote as well.
“We are four brothers; three of us are BJP workers and I support CPI(M). My three brothers cast their votes peacefully but I was forced to come back without voting,” Sudarshan was quoted by the newspaper as saying
East Tripura Lok Sabha constituency returning officer Vikas Singh admitted there were some complaints that voters were forced to return without casting mandate.
“We have deployed Central Armed Police Forces for patrolling in all vulnerable areas. All district election officers were also asked to take necessary actions,” the returning officer said.
The Election Commission deferred polling in East Tripura constituency from April 11 to April 23 due to security reasons.
Polling is being held across 1,645 polling stations spread across 30 assembly segments in 6 districts.