Kolkata: They are polling agents all right, but the problem is they can't recall the names of the candidates they are working for.
This seemingly bizarre occurrence came to light at a booth in Shibpur Assembly segment of Howrah Lok Sabha constituency during the fifth phase of election on Monday.
The setting was booth number 157. When newpersons entered the booth, they found the polling agent of the Trinamool Congress was present. Alongside him, were couple of other polling agents of independent candidates.
The script took a strange twist when the newspersons confronted a middle aged woman polling agent.
Asked to name the candidate she was working for, the woman was clueless.
"What is his name?" she asked the agent sitting by her side, visibly looking embarrassed.. But the man was of little help.
When the correspondent asked her whether she at all knew the candidate's name, the woman mumbled "Ya, I know", but still she could not give the name.
A second polling agent of another "independent candidate" was candid enough to admit that he didn't remember the nominee's name.
Opposition activists alleged that both were actually Trinamool workers, who have been pushed into the booth as representatives of dummy candidates, who are also local Trinamool leaders.
"This is nothing new. This practice is going on for decades. The Left used to resort to this strategy to ensure their numerical superiority in the booth.. Now Trinamool is emulating them."