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Times When Electioneering Has Seen Assaults, Accidents



West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday alleged that she was injured in one of her legs after she was pushed during the election campaign in Nandigram. The incident happened in the evening when Banerjee was outside a temple in the Reyapara area.

“I was standing outside my car with the door open. I was going to a temple there to offer my prayers. Few people came around my car and pushed the door. The door hit my leg,” she said. The chief minister claimed that her leg got swollen because of the injury and she was feeling feverish. The TMC supremo claimed “conspiracy” as no local police personnel was present at the spot when the incident happened. She was later brought to SSKM hospital for treatment.

However, this is not the first time political leaders were reported to be injured during campaigning ahead of elections. With the election to the 294-member West Bengal assembly due in April-May, News18 lists out politicians getting injured during campaigns.

Mamata Banerjee Attacked by CPM Cadres in 1990

This is not the first time Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was involved in political violence. On August 16, 1990, the then Youth Congress leader was hit with a blunt weapon on the head by CPM cadres at Hazra. Banerjee bleeding profusely, was admitted to the SSKM hospital, where she received treatment for several days. Banerjee never lost an election, both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha after the attack. The accused, Lalu Alam, was acquitted of all charges 29 years later by the Alipore trial court due to lack of evidence.

Janata Dal Rashtravadi Candidate Shot Dead Ahead of Bihar Polls

Weeks ahead of the Bihar assembly polls held late last year, Sri Narayan Singh, a candidate of the Janata Dal Rashtravadi was shot dead while campaigning in Hathsar village in Bihar’s Sheohar constituency. Singh and two of his supporters were injured in the attack on October 24, 2020. While Singh succumbed to his injuries on his way to the hospital, one of his injured supporters died at the hospital, as per reports. One of the four bike-borne assailants was caught and then beaten to death.

Overcrowded Campaigns and Stage Collapse

Jan Adhikar Party President Pappu Yadav sustained injuries during his election campaign for Bihar assembly polls after his stage collapsed during a rally in Muzaffarpur’s Minapur constituency on October 31, 2020. This was the fourth in a series of stage collapses due to overcrowding. Days before, Congress candidate Mashkoor Ahmad Usmani fell off the state while addressing a rally in Darbhanga. Later on the same day on October 29, at another Congress rally in Champaran, leaders Imran Pratapgarhi and Akhilesh Singh were both on the stage when the stage collapsed. On October 15, several people were injured when stage set up for Janata Dal (United) leader Chandrika Rai election campaign rally collapsed in Saran.

Apni Party Candidate Shot Ahead of J&K DDC Polls

Apni Party candidate Anees ul Islam was injured after unknown gunmen fired at him on November 27, 2020. He was campaigning in Sagam for the eight-phase District Development Council (DDC) in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

Congress, Akali Workers Clash During Punjab Civic Body Polls

Last month, on February 14, seven people were injured in Rupnagar during polling held for over hundred civic bodies in Punjab. Seven people were injured in Rupnagar after workers of the ruling Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal clashed following a heated argument. Scuffles between activists of the Congress and the Opposition parties were also reported from Batala, Rajpura, Tarn Taran, Bathinda, Gurdaspur, Samana, Rupnagar, Nabha, Nangal, Mohali and Ferozepur.

AAP Worker Shot in Punjab

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) worker Manbir Singh was admitted in hospital after he was shot in leg in Patti during the local body polls in Punjab last month. He alleged that Congress members attempted to capture the booth and he was shot at after he raised objections, according to an Indian Express report. A close aide of MLA Harminder Singh Gill, and four Congressmen were booked for the attacks on AAP workers, as per the Tribune.

Congress Youth Leader Shot Dead in Faridkot

President of the Faridkot district Youth Congress, Gurlal Singh Bhullar was shot dead on February 18, 2021 in Faridkot district of Punjab.

Punjab Congress Leader’s Wife Survives Acid Attack

In another incident in Punjab, this one dating back to 2013, Jitender Kaur, wife of Punjab Pradesh Congress leader Rashpal Singh, reportedly lost vision in one of her eyes and sustained burn injuries on her face and other parts of the body after she survived an acid attack in Jalandhar. Two motorcycle-borne miscreants allegedly threw acid on her and fled when Kaur was returning from a gurudwara.

Imran Khan Injured in Fall While Campaigning

Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan had suffered head injuries after falling from an elevated platform at an election rally in Lahore back in 2013.

Yemen Politician Survives Assassination Attempt

A leader of Yemen’s Al-Islah party survived an assassination attempt in 2018 in Aden. Aref Ahmed Ali was injured when an improvised explosive device laden to his car exploded in Mualla city. His son lost a leg due to the explosion.

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