Sunday, 20 May, 2018

Police lathicharge as voters protest delay in poll process

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Melinda Barton | 16 May, 2018, 14:21

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 May 14.

The State Election Commission has ordered repolling 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.

This happened as a result of people's agitation when the re-polling started late in booth number 36/37. "Voting began at 7:00 a.m". He said people were bullied and weren't even allowed to file nominations. "The counting will take place tomorrow (on May 17)", the SEC officials said. A supporter of an Independent candidate, Shaheen Sheikh, was killed at Nowda and a BJP supporter, Tapan Mondal, was murdered at Beldanga, both in Murshidabad.

The state's ruling Trinamool Congress, however, claimed that the people were able to exercise their democratic rights and said the situation was well handled barring a few isolated incidents. "This is serious. A land as great as West Bengal has to see such sights, it is unfortunate", the Prime Minister said, adding that such malpractices are worrying in a democracy. But the commission stood its ground and cited reports from poll officials about gross violations of election rules, said sources.

After 12 persons were killed in widespread violence during the West Bengal Panchayat election a day ago, post-poll clashes continue to rock parts of the state on Tuesday.

He was addressing workers at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s central office in the national capital after the party emerged as the single-largest party in the Karnataka Assembly polls.

"It is not just about winning elections".

In another development, Opposition parties are set to initiate legal steps against the SEC alleging that the death toll on the polling day had been at least 20.