Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], July 11 (ANI): Kalyan Choubey, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from the Maniktala assembly, accused Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Kunal Ghosh of 'capturing polling booths' and 'threatening voters'.

Four assembly seats in West Bengal including -- Maniktala in Kolkata, Ranaghat Dakshin, Bagdah in North 24 Parganas, and Raiganj in Uttar Dinajpur district -- went to by-polls yesterday.

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In a conversation with ANI, BJP candidate Choubey said, "TMC leader Kunal Ghosh is claiming that the party would win. However, Ghosh along with around 3,000 goons captured all the polling booths in Maniktala and threatened the voters. They hit our agents. Even they attacked my car. I was saved by my security personnel"

The BJP candidate further alleged that wherever the BJP got leads in the by-polls, the TMC 'goons' threatened the voters not to vote for the party.

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"Yesterday, wherever the BJP got leads, the goons threatened the voters not to vote for the party", he said.

Referring to the violence in West Bengal in 2021 post-assembly polls, Kalyan Choubey said, "In 2021, I raised the issue of post-poll violence in West Bengal before the court. The Human Rights Commission had said that the 'ruler rules here and not the law'. The same has been testified again."

Meanwhile, TMC leader Kunal Ghosh has claimed that BJP candidate Kalyan Choubey tried to bribe him to support his campaign in the assembly by-polls.

Ghosh claimed that Choubey offered to accommodate him at the state or national level in exchange for his support.

"The campaign has ended, and BJP candidate (of Maniktala assembly) Kalyan Choubey has understood that he is going to lose the elections. On July 7, at 11:30 at night, he asked me to support him knowing fully well that I am the convenor of the core committee, constituted by the CM for the Maniktala by-election. He said that he would try to accommodate me at the state or national level. In a way, he was trying to bribe me. The offer that he has given is wrong," Ghosh said on Tuesday.

Choubey, however, denied the allegations, stating that Ghosh had previously expressed interest in joining the BJP and that their conversation was a courtesy call.

Choubey further claimed he casually told Ghosh that he would easily win the election with his support, but denied any wrongdoing.

Bypolls in Ranaghat, Dakshin, Raiganj and Bagda were necessitated because the BJP MLAs who won these constituencies in the 2021 election switched to the TMC.

The TMC won the Maniktala seat in the 2021 election, however, the sitting TMC MLA, Sadhan Pandey, died in February 2022, necessitating the election.

Mukut Mani Adhikari, whose resignation as MLA necessitated the election, is the TMC candidate in the Ranaghat Dakshin constituency.

For both the BJP and TMC, these by-polls are seen as high-stakes elections. The TMC wants to carry on the momentum of its better performance in the 2024 Lok Sabha election, while for the BJP, repeating the win in Ranaghat, Dakshin, Raiganj, and Bagda is seen as prestigious.

The TMC won 29 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, up from 22 in the 2019 parliamentary polls. On the other hand, the BJP's tally came down to 12 from 18 in 2019.

Other states where by-polls were held yesterday are Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, and Himachal Pradesh. (ANI)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from Syndicated News feed, LatestLY Staff may not have modified or edited the content body)