West Bengal panchayat elections: Stray incidents of violence reported in state

Villagers block a road at Natunhat

The polling will begin at 7 a.m. and end at 5 a.m. and counting will take place on May 17, the commission said. The rural elections will be held in 621 zilla parishads and 6157 panchayat samitis, besides in 31,827 gram panchayats, spread across 20 districts.

Out of the 48,650 seats in 3,358-gram panchayats, 16,814 were uncontested and of the 9,217 seats in 341 panchayat samitis, 3,059 were uncontested, said West Bengal SEC. Violence was reported in Burdwan districts too.

"The state administration will play a strong role in tomorrow's panchayat elections".

In Sujapur of Malda, a clash broke out between the supporters of Congress and Trinamool after the husband of a Congress candidate was allegedly attacked.

The SEC is conducting the panchayat election.

Speaking to media on Monday, Left Front chairman Biman Bose had earlier said that the single-phase panchayat election in West Bengal would result in "bloodbath".

Until 1:00 p.m., around 41.51 percent turnout was recorded.


Furthermore, Bhangar locals blocked the roads, alleging that TMC workers were capturing the polling booth.

The SEC sought a report from the Jalpaiguri District Magistrate regarding the incident. The union minister had earlier demanded president's rule in the state.

Meanwhile, five local journalists have also been injured during violence after booth capturing in West Bengal's Birpara town, allegedly by TMC workers.

Footage aired by television channels showed TMC cadres and CPLLEE members coming to blows inside a polling booth in Dokhin Gajipur village, the stronghold of Mr.Islam. "Highly condemnable and deplorable, it signifies that culture of political violence under TMC has engulfed entire West Bengal". It may be recalled that blood was spilled in the state during filing of nominations and we have apprehension that such incidents will be repeated on the polling day.

"BJP agent was trying to run away with the ballot box, while officers caught hold of him but people said let him go".

In Coochbehar district, North Bengal Development Minister Rabindranath Ghosh allegedly slapped a person outside a polling booth. Voting has been stopped in the area.

CPI (M) district secretary Shamik Lahiri named some people claiming that those goons of the Trinamool Congress had assaulted party worker Debaprasad Das and his wife Usha and then set the house afire.

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