Global News

WB Panchayat elections: Re-polling underway in 568 booths

WB Panchayat elections: Re-polling underway in 568 booths

The re-polling of panchayat polls in West Bengal is being held on Wednesday in 568 panchayat election booths spread across 19 districts of the state. "The repoll has been more or less peaceful", a senior State Election Commission official said.

It accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of bringing in people from Bangladesh, Assam and Jharkhand with the help of Border Security Force personnel on the polling day to create unrest.

Meanwhile, the body of a booth presiding officer who went missing on the polling day on May 14 has been found beside the railway tracks in North Dinajpur district, police said.

The voting took place for 621 zilla parishads, over six thousand panchayat samitis, and almost 31 thousand gram panchayats. "Voting began at 7:00 a.m".

The West Bengal Panchayat election was held after days of court battle and opposition allegations of "Trinamool terror" - accusations the ruling party has denied.

Re-polling took place in 10 booths in Hooghly, 28 booths in West Midnapore, 52 booths in Coochbehar, 63 booths in Murshidabad, 60 booths in Nadia, 59 booths in North 24 Parganas, 55 booths in Malda, 73 booths in Uttar Dinajpur, 26 in South 24 Pargans, among others. In the 20 zilla parishads, 203 of the 825 seats were uncontested.

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

Why was re-polling ordered on Wednesday?

Declaring re-polls in 573 booths was not easy for the commission as the state government did not want to give its nod to such a large number. At least 24 people were killed in violence during and after the elections.

Violence was reported from Howrah and Bhangar in South 24 Parganas as well.

Also, some reports are saying that ballot boxes were set on fire, vehicles burnt and poll officials attacked. In other incidents of violence, 15 people were injured in a clash outside a polling booth in Nandigram.

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.