Kolkata: Even as she paid a visit to a policeman shot at during a scuffle, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee described the Kolkata Municipal Corporations polls held on Saturday as peaceful like never before.
The claims of Banerjee, also the Trinamool Congress supremo, came shortly after State Election Commissioner S.R. Upadhyay conceded that a “properly conducted democratic exercise doesn’t attract so many complaints” of unfair practices.
Accompanied by city police chief Surajit Kar Purakayastha, Banerjee paid a visit to sub-inspector Jagannath Mondal, hospitalised after being shot at during a political clash.
“Thank god he is stable now. I had a talk with his wife and daughter. He has received a bullet below the shoulder. The doctors will take a call on whether to operate on him today or later. The doctors have assured us that he is safe and stable,” said Banerjee.
“The polls have been peaceful. Mind you, the polls were held in 144 wards stretched across the city. Of the 144 wards, only in a few, some minor incidents, scuffle happened. Police have taken immediate action into those incidents and I thank them for that,” she said.
“Barring a few stray minor incidents, I have never seen such a peaceful poll before,” added Banerjee.
With the Communist Party of India-Marxist led Left Front, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party charging the Trinamool with using “terror tactics to turn the polls into a farce” and lodging a plethora of complaints, the state poll panel admitted shortcomings in the conduct of the democratic exercise.
“Ideally if the polling is conducted properly, you don’t get so much of complaints. We have got complaints regarding booth capturing, booth jamming, false voting and voter intimidation,” Upadhyay said shortly after the ruling Trinamool Congress asserted the polls were free, fair and peaceful.
City police commissioner Purakayastha too has called the polls peaceful.