After Bengal Panchayat Election Violence, Re-Poll Under Way In 568 Booths

Re-polling 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, officials said.

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Re-polling is being carried out in 568 booths across West Bengal for the Panchayat elections

Kolkata:  Re-polling in 568 booths across West Bengal from where the State Election Commission received complaints of violence during Monday's panchayat election, began today amid tight security.

The booths where re-polling is being held are spread across all 20 districts in West Bengal where the rural polls were held on Monday, officials of the state election commission said.

"The state government and the police have been asked to make elaborate security arrangements so that the re-polling is held in a free and fair manner," they said.

"The re-polling started at 7 am and will end at 5 pm. The counting will take place tomorrow (May 17)," state election commission officials said.

The re-polling 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 elections in West Bengal which claimed at least 12 lives and left 43 injured, several candidates who were contesting had met the state election commission officials and demanded re-polling.

Independent candidates too met the state election commission officials to request re-polling in their constituencies.

Opposition parties had accused the Trinamool Congress of "unleashing a reign of terror and destroying democracy". Mamata Banerjee's party, however, termed the allegations as "baseless".

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Several non-political organisations held sit-ins outside the state election commission office yesterday 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.
 

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