Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

WB Panchayat polls: CPI(M) leaders protest over violence in state

WB Panchayat polls: CPI(M) leaders protest over violence in state

Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won most seats in Karnataka but fell short of a clear majority in the state of 60 million people, which includes the wealthy global IT hub of Bangalore. At 12 persons died and over 40 injured after 43 clashes ensued between cadres of the contesting parties. Amrito Saha, relative of a Trinamool Congress candidate in Raigunj, was shot dead inside a polling booth, it said. On Wednesday, repolling in 568 booths (will take place). 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.

He said the administration was in the process of ensuring tight security for Wednesday's re-polling between 7am and 5pm. Over 73 per cent of the electorate had turned out to cast their vote, while 68 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the repolls.

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.

Pollsters claim that although the trail of violence involved in Bengal rural polls is not a new phenomenon, the "muscle power" used in this round of elections has escalated to unprecedented levels.

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Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his "unwarranted comments" on panchayat polls in West Bengal, the TMC today said Modi's remarks were out of frustration as the BJP could not win a majority in Karnataka. Elections were held in 622 Zilla Parishads, 6,158 Panchayat Samitis and 31,836 Gram Panchayats across West Bengal. "Democracy has been brutally murdered in the state", he said.

"Where is the spirit of democracy?" "People were bullied." The Trinamool Congress was quick to react.

The TMC leadership had then termed Chatterjees allegation as baseless. No BJP worker was killed.

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