Mild Violence Mars Phase III Polls

The third phase of polling was marred by mutual conflict between activists of the Congress and the BJP New Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. Besides, there was an incidence of dispute between election official and a party activist in Bihar While in West Bengal, Maoist rebels allegedly triggered a landmine to deter voters.

In New Delhi, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, Sunil Jindal, suffered injuries when a suspected supporter of the Congress attacked him during a debate in the national capital. According to police, one person was injured when Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists came to blows at a five-star hotel in Delhi Thursday during the recording of a television debate between their candidates from West Delhi.

In Madhya Pradesh, workers of the Congress and the BJP indulged in a fight outside a polling booth in Chandrapura in Bhind District on Thursday.

According to eye-witnesses and officials, fight even gave rise to the incidents of firing between the two rival factions. They confirmed that several electronic voting machines had also been damaged during the conflict.

Commenting on the incident, BJP leader Ravishankar Prasad said that it was a one-off incident and added that polling in the state was by and large peaceful.

In Gujarat too, workers of the BJP and the Congress clashed at a polling booth in a village, a clash that quickly spread to nearby Godhra, a town that witnessed communal riots in 2002.

The incident took place around 10 am after the Congress workers accused the BJP workers of prodding voters to cast votes for their candidate near the polling station in Shera village. This led to a clash between the workers of the two political parties, which spread to Godhra.

A police officer said workers of both parties were injured. No arrest has been reported so far.

In Bihar, at six persons were injured, two of them seriously, as police used batons when supporters of a candidate clashed with poll officials after they insisted on photo identity cards at a booth in Kishanganj constituency, official sources said.

Police opened fired to quell supporters of two rival candidates, who clashed and indulged in heavy stone-throwing, at a booth at Mongra in Katihar constituency, Superintendent of Police A K Yadav said.

In West Bengal, elections were marred by a landmine blast triggered suspectedly by the Maoists in which two security personnel were injured.

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