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Re-polling underway in 568 booths across West Bengal amid tight security

 Repolling in 568 booths across West Bengal from where the State Election Commission (SEC) received complaints of violence during the panchayat poll, began on Wednesday amid tight security.

The booths where repolling is being held are spread in all the 20 districts of the state where the rural polls were held on Monday, SEC officials said. The state government and the police have been asked to make elaborate security arrangements so that the repolling is held in a free and fair manner, they said.

“The repolling started at 7 in the morning and will end at 5 pm. The counting will take place tomorrow (on May 17),” the SEC officials said.

The repolling has been ordered 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 and 26 in South 24 Pargans among others, they said.

Aggrieved by the violence that marked the panchayat poll in West Bengal which claimed at least 12 lives and left 43 injured, several candidates who were in the fray had met the SEC officials and demanded the repolling.

Independent candidates too met the SEC officials to request repoll in their seats. Opposition parties had accused the TMC of “unleashing a reign of terror and destroying democracy”. The TMC, however, termed the allegations as “baseless”. Several non-political organisations held sit-ins outside the SEC office on Tuesday in protest against the violence on the polling day.

The rural polls were held after a protracted legal battle in the Calcutta High Court and the Supreme Court involving the State Election Commission, the ruling Trinamool Congress and the opposition parties.

Kolkata (West Bengal): As violence were reported in a number of places during panchayat polls in West Bengal, which was held on May 14, re-polling is being held on Wednesday in 568 panchayat election booths spread across 19 districts of the state.

Voting, which began at 7 am, will end at 5 pm.

The booths, where re-polling is taking place, include 63 in Murshidabad, 52 in Coochbehar, 28 in West Midnapore and 10 in Hooghly among others.

The State Election Commission had ordered the re-poll, following complaints of violence during the polls on Monday.

The poll panel has asked the state government and the police to make elaborate security arrangements so that polling can be held in a free and fair manner.

The counting of votes will be held on May 17.

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.

The Congress, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) and other parties of the Left Front also staged a protest outside State Election Commission in Kolkata against the incidents of violence.

Taking note of the incident, the Ministry of Home Affairs also sought a report from the state government regarding incidents of violence during Panchayat Election in the state.

The voting took place for 621 zilla parishads, over six thousand panchayat samitis, and nearly 31 thousand gram panchayats.


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