Published: Thu, May 17, 2018

West Bengal panchayat elections: Repoll ordered in 568 booths

West Bengal panchayat elections: Repoll ordered in 568 booths

Representatives of CPI-M held a protest demonstration outside the SEC office on Monday evening demanding an answer from the poll panel about the adverse situations across the state.

Re-polling in 568 booths across West Bengal from where the State Election Commission (SEC) had received complaints of violence during the panchayat poll, began on Wednesday amid tight security.

The state administration, however, claimed only six of those deaths were poll-related, State Election Commission (SEC) said.

# Polling booths were mainly targeted during the violence after clashes broke out between Trinamool Congress supporters and opposition party workers.

Polling for electing 38,616 representatives across the three tiers of West Bengal rural bodies was held in more than 58,000 booths across the state on 14 May.

The counting of votes is scheduled to take place on Thursday. Reports from Malda district said a voter died at Baishnabnagar area after he fell ill while standing in the queue.

On Wednesday, the Union home ministry asked the West Bengal government to provide a second detailed report on the violence during the polls after it found the initial report sent by the Mamata Banerjee-led government "sketchy".

They said initially the commission was keen on keeping the number of booths for re-polls to a bare minimum but had to change its mind once reports from the observers and presiding officers started pouring in.

The opposition parties have accused the TMC of "unleashing a reign of terror and destroying democracy". "Repolling has been ordered in those booths where TMC candidates might lose the polls".

"They were dismayed because of not being able to win in Karnataka". "In today's repoll too there were incidents of violence and in few places police acted swiftly", said state BJP president Dilip Ghosh. India´s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party blamed West Bengal´s ruling Trinamool Congress Party for the deadly clashes.

"The people have voted freely and fairly. Very unfortunate", a statement on TMC's official website said, quoting Trinamool Secretary General Partha Chatterjee.

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