West Bengal panchayat elections: Miscreants brandish gun, escape with ballot box

Lewis Collier
May 17, 2018

Brandishing a gun, unidentified miscreants, on Wednesday, escaped with a ballot box from polling booth no. 76 in Malda's Ratua during the re-polling in the Panchayat elections. The counting is taking place at multiple centres.

Kolkata: Around 68 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the repolls held in 572 booths across West Bengal districts on Wednesday and the polling has been more or less peaceful amidst tight security arrangements, a state election commission official said. The central government has asked for a second detailed report on the violence, saying that the initial report was "sketchy".

Voting for the rural bodies in West Bengal was to be held on May 1, 3 and 5, but as the nomination process started in April, it was rescheduled to May 14 by the SEC following a Calcutta High Court order to extend the nomination deadline and announce a fresh polling date.

In the single-phase polls held on Monday, a total of 6,157 seats in 341 panchayat samiti seats were contested.

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District magistrate Ayesha Rani A. said Ray had gone missing from the polling booth, and that he did not report to the block development officer that night. Over a dozen people were killed in the violence.

Attacking those for spreading "lies" that the BJP is a party of north India despite it forming governments in non-Hindi speaking States like Gujarat, Maharashtra and Assam among other states, Modi said people of Karnataka have given a befitting reply to those with such a "distorted" mindset. Trinamool candidates were elected unopposed in 34% of seats.

The ruling Trinamool Congress won all the six gram panchayat seats declared till 9:45am.

The panchayat elections in West Bengal saw huge-scale clashes on Monday between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers, resulting in the death of at least 12 people. "Innocent party workers, not only of the BJP but of other parties too, were killed", he said. "Very unfortunate", said party's website attributing the remarks to Trinamool Secretary General Partha Chatterjee.

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