WB Panchayat polls: SEC orders repoll in 568 booths tomorrow

Cheryl Sanders
May 17, 2018

A day after 12 people were killed in widespread violence during the West Bengal panchayat elections, post poll clashes continue to rock parts of the state on Tuesday. The area had witnessed the killing of a person and arrest of a TMC leader on the direction of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee ahead of the poll.

The commission announced that the re-polling would be held in all districts barring Jhargram, taking the decision after going through reports and recommendations from the districts on Monday's elections.

Under an order of the Supreme Court, polling took place in around 66% of the seats.

The Congress, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) and other parties of the Left Front also staged a protest outside State Election Commission in Kolkata against the incidents of violence. In the polling booths of North 24 Parganas, South 24 Paragana and West Midnapore, security personnel maintained strict vigil on the re-polling process and kept these areas nearly violence-free.

West Bengal panchayat polls LIVE updates: Voting is underway in 568 polling booths across 19 of the 20 West Bengal districts for the Panchayati Raj institutions that went to the polls on 14 May.

Why was re-polling ordered on Wednesday?

Elections were held in 622 zila parishads and 6,158 panchayat samitis, besides 31,836 gram panchayats of the state.

Of the 58,000-plus seats in the state, more than 38,000 were up for contest.

Also, some reports are saying that ballot boxes were set on fire, vehicles burnt and poll officials attacked. In South 24 Parganas, East Midnapore and South Dinajpur districts, re-polling will be held at 26, 23 and 35 booths, respectively. A TMC supporter was killed when a bomb was hurled outside a polling station in Kultali, in South 24 Parganas. "The number could well have reached 1,500 if the poll officials had factored in other incidents like proxy voting and rigging", he added. The decision came after post-poll scrutiny of reports of political violence that marred the polling across the state.

Other reports by iNewsToday