West Bengal Panchayat Elections: Calls for Re-polling Amidst Violence and Controversy

West Bengal Panchayat Elections: Calls for Re-polling Amidst Violence and Controversy

Ten persons lost their lives in total and numerous others were hurt during the violence that erupted during the West Bengal Panchayat elections.

West Bengal Panchayat Elections

West Bengal Panchayat Elections – The State Election Commission said on Sunday that re-voting will take place on Monday, July 10, following the outbreak of violence during the polls. The re-voting process will involve 697 booths altogether spread across the districts of Purulia, Birbhum, Jalpaiguri, and South 24 Parganas.

West Bengal Panchayat Elections: Calls for Re-polling Amidst Violence and Controversy

In an official statement, the SEC stated, “The West Bengal State Election Commission, exercising powers conferred under Section 67 sub-section (3) and sub-section (4) of the said Act, designates July 10, 2023, as the 10th day from the commencement of poll, to conduct the polling afresh from 07:00 AM to 05:00 PM uninterruptedly until completion and directs the District Panchayat Election Officer to identify the polling stations for such poll.”

Earlier today, amid allegations of rigging and malpractice during the violence-affected Panchayat elections in West Bengal, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Khagen Murmu demanded fresh elections in Bengal. He claimed that incumbent officers and election officials were involved in proxy voting on their behalf. Trinamool Congress (TMC) was also accused.

The State Election Commission was also written a letter by Jagannath Chattopadhyay, the BJP’s general secretary in West Bengal, requesting re-voting.

“You will recall that the BJP delegation in West Bengal had met with you and requested for a review of CCTV/video footage to identify those booths where booth capturing, looting, and assisting polling officers in rigging were observed, resulting in the necessity of re-polling. The polling centers were removed or made to leave,” Chattopadhyay stated in the letter.

Violence, ballot looting, and malpractice occurred on a large scale during the three-tier Panchayat elections in 20 districts on Saturday. Reports of booth capturing, damage to ballot boxes, and attacks on election officials came from districts such as Murshidabad, Cooch Behar, Malda, South 24 Parganas, North Dinajpur, and Nadia.

Prior to this, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the Pradesh Congress President of West Bengal, stated that the incompatibility between the police administration and the TMC has established a reign of terror in an unprecedented manner.

Numerous people have already sought medical attention in hospitals after suffering severe injuries as a result of the conflict between the police administration and the ruling party, which tragically claimed the lives of 26 people.