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Open rigging in West Bengal as poll violence peaks

18 May 2018

Following the May 16 re-polls of West Bengal Panchayat elections, the counting of votes is underway on Thursday. Polling was held on May 14. This is said to have continued for an hour.

Sporadic incidents of unrest over the election results were reported from certain districts like Nadia where a group of miscreants allegedly ran away with ballot boxes.

"Bengal has been taken over by goons. The situation makes Bengal a flawless place for Article 356", he said.

As per latest reports, the state's ruling party has won 20,277 Gram Panchayat (lowest tier) seats of 31,814 that were contested, while it was leading in 382 seats. The Left and the Congress are a distant third and fourth.

He said that BJP is a tough competition for TMC. The centre is scheduled to count votes of Krishnagunj block with 112 grampanchayat seats, 21 panchayat samiti seats and 2 Zilla Parishad seats.

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The TMC won 13 of the 17 Zila Parishads in 2013. We have won despite the canards spread against us by the BJP. In South Dinajpur, it had won 13 whereas the BJP got one. Congress won 918 seats and are leading in 29.

Nadia gram panchayat: Total seat 3209.

Till last reports came, the situation was tense in the area.

The BJP also managed to advance or win a section of Panchayat seats, especially in the Murshidabad and Jhargram districts, while the Left and Congress were pushed to the margins. In Bankura, the TMC won 10 while the BJP one.

The BJP, he said, had also done well in West Midnapore, Jalpaiguri and Maldah districts. It was leading in the remaining ones. "Many BJP and Independent candidates contacted us after their win". At Panchayat Samiti level the Trinamool bagged 1,110 seats leaving 87 and 19 respectively for the BJP and the Left, the SEC sources quoting reports trickling in till 5 pm said.

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When everyone was voting, some were counting the ballot papers, and when the officials were adding up the numbers, some were polling.

On Wednesday, repolling in 568 booths begin prior to the tight security.

In the panchayat samitis, as well, the TMC has taken a lead in about 86 per cent of total seats with BJP in the second position with 11 per cent seats.

Candidates fielded by the land agitators in Bhangar ahead in five of the eight Polerhat gram panchayat seats where they filed nomination through Whatsapp.

Thanking the people of the state for her party's victory, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that her party had won despite the entire opposition ganging up against the TMC, discarding their ideological positions.

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The Supreme Court has now asked the SEC not to issue winning certificates in these seats. The matter would be heard in July when the Court reassembles after vacation.

Open rigging in West Bengal as poll violence peaks