Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

West Bengal Panchayat polls: Re-polling at 568 booths underway

West Bengal Panchayat polls: Re-polling at 568 booths underway

Ahead of the Wednesday repolls, the state government and police had been asked to make elaborate security arrangements so that the repolling can be held in a free and fair manner, the SEC official added.

Re-polling for rural body (panchayat) elections is underway in 568 centers in India's eastern state of West Bengal, officials said Wednesday.

In Monday's panchayat poll violence that swept across Bengal, 13 people died and around 50 were injured.

Condemning the violence, former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee said that panchayat polls have cemented the grave of democracy in West Bengal. 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. "The counting will take place tomorrow (on May 17)", the SEC officials said.

Amid all the mudslinging, reports are coming in even about agitation and unruly crowd at several booths, according to ANI, during re-polling at booth number 36/37 today, Rapid Action Force (RAF) and the police baton was charged on people as a crowd-control measure after the people agitated when the voting process for Panchayat Election re-polling started.

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Sources are saying that the Trinamool Congress has already won 20,163 of the total 58,692 seats unopposed.

Elections were held in 622 zila parishads and 6,158 panchayat samitis, besides 31,836 gram panchayats of the state. Opposition parties demanded re-polling at over 500 booths following the deaths of at least 14 people in violence during the polls on Monday.

Interestingly, the commission didn't order any re-polling at Bhangar in South 24 Parganas, which witnessed violence and killing during the poll. No BJP worker was killed.

Presidency division - Howrah district, Kolkata district, Nadia district, North 24 Parganas district (Uttar 24 Parganas) and South 24 Parganas district (Dakshin 24 Parganas).

While the voter turnout was reportedly 75 percent, widespread violence, including bombing and efforts of booth capturing by political goons, were reported across the state since morning.

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