Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

West Bengal panchayat elections: Repoll ordered in 568 booths

TMC celebrations for Panchayat polls TMC activists celebrating their party's performance in the panchayat polls in North 24 Parganas | PTI
Steven Clarke | 16 May, 2018, 14:19

Widespread violence during the panchayat polls in West Bengal on Monday left at least 12 people dead and 43 injured.

In Uttar Dinajpur district's Goalpokhar, the police officials baton-charged on people, exercising a crowd-control measure, as they were agitating following delay in the voting process.

Jhargram is the only district where there would be no re-polling. In Uttar Dinajpur's Raiganj, Sub-Divisional Officer TN Sherpa was assaulted by voting personnel who were protesting against the death of presiding officer Rajkumar Roy, Ei Samay reported.

"Repolling started at 7 in the morning and will end at 5 pm".

Repolling in 568 booths across West Bengal, from where the State Election Commission (SEC) received complaints of violence during the panchayat poll, began today amid tight security. "Free and fair election did not take place in my area", said Etajul, an independent candidate from Bhangore in South 24 Parganas district said to PTI.

The BDOs and SDOs of blocks where repoll will take place have been advised to make announcements on loudspeakers.

S Africans, Tutu express solidarity with Palestinians
Simon Coveney summoned the country's Ambassador to Iveagh House earlier where he called for restraint in the days and hours ahead. This step by the Trump administration was controversial because it broke with decades of USA policy and infuriated Palestinians.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday attacked the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool government over violence in the panchayat polls in West Bengal saying "it was nothing but murder of democracy". He said that it was a matter of grave concern and was against the concept of democracy.

As per news agency IANS, PM Modi further said, "It is not just about winning elections".

Addressing party workers and supporter at the BJP headquarters here after Karnataka poll results, praising party president Amit Shah the Prime Minister described him as "the person whose tireless work and exceptional strategy has propelled us to one victory after another". Ballot boxes were found in ponds...innocent party workers, not only of BJP, were killed.

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.

All parties, the civil society and the judiciary will have to play an active role.

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