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


The Union home ministry has asked the West Bengal government to provide a detailed report on the violence during the polls as the report the state government had sent was "sketchy", the official said.

Repolling in 568 booths across West Bengal from where the State Election Commission (SEC) received complaints of violence during the panchayat poll, began today amid tight security.

The state administration has so far admitted to at least six poll-related deaths, claiming that the scale of violence witnessed this year was lower than the previous elections in 2013.

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. 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.

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Post poll violence was reported from parts of Howrah district where bombs were hurled in at least 20 houses during a clash between Trinamool Congress workers and BJP activists.

At Bhangar in South 24 Parganas, the police arrested several bike-borne miscreants for allegedly intimidating voters.

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

The opposition protested against the selection of booths for the repolling.

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# The BJP said they had demanded re-polling at 2,300 booths across the state.

District magistrate Ayesha Rani A. said Ray had gone missing from the polling booth, and that he did not report to the block development officer that night.

However in many places, the police acted swiftly and brought the situation under control, reports said.

The TMC leadership expressed satisfaction over "free and fair" polls conducted by the SEC. "If the TMC is so confident of the development it has done then why didn't it allow the masses to vote freely", Ghosh said. The opposition does not have any base. "The people have voted freely and fairly", TMC General Secretary Partha Chatterjee told PTI.

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