West Bengal Civic Body Polls: Opposition Demands Fresh Election

Gun shots were heard and bombs hurled as traffic on the highway came to a grinding halt.

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West Bengal Civic Body Polls: Opposition Demands Fresh Election

West Bengal Civic Polls: Results will be declared on August 17.


Kolkata:  Opposition parties in West Bengal want Sunday's polls to seven civic bodies cancelled, claiming the ruling Trinamool party used widespread violence and booth capturing and "made a mockery of democracy".

The State Election Commission did not comment on the demand but Trinamool claimed the BJP and CPM were behind the violence. "Outsiders from Jharkhand came to created trouble in Durgapur," said Trinamool minister Aroop Biswas. "And we know which party is in power there."

Durgapur, indeed, saw some of the worst violence on Sunday from early in the morning. Rivals clashed over allegedly unsing unfair means in polling stations. BJP claimed their agents were beaten up and pushed out. BJP retaliated by coming on to National Highway 2 and blocking it.

When police came to remove the blockade, the protesters brick batted them. Gun shots were heard and bombs hurled as traffic on the highway came to a grinding halt. Several policemen were injured too.

At Nalhati, another civic body that went to the polls, miscreants ran away with EVM machines as presiding officers watched in horror. "We are taking it to a safe place," the miscreants allegedly said and later returned the machines. Polling officers were stunned.

The Congress demanded removal of state election commissioner AK Singh and held a sit in demonstration outside his office in Kolkata.

"The SEC has completely failed to conduct the polls in free and fair manner. This is not the first time. In municipal  elections in May we had witnessed the same thing. The TMC has turned the elections into a farce," Leader of opposition and state Congress leader Abdul Manan said.

State BJP president Dilip Ghosh demanded fresh elections at Haldia, Pashkura and Durgapur Municipal Corporation."We demand that fresh elections after deployment of central forces," he said.

"We want the elections to be cancelled as TMC has unleashed terror at all the places where elections are being held," CPI(M) Politburo member Mohammed Salim said at a press meet.

"Miscreants with Trinamool links terrorised voters with guns, bombs and other weapons. Candidates, election agents no one was spared." he said.

Polling for the seven urban local bodies comprising five municipalities, one notified authority and one municipal corporation was held during the day and the results will be declared on August 17.

The municipalities which went to polls on Sunday are Panskura and Haldia in East Midnapore district, Nalhati in Birbhum, Buniadpur in South Dinajpur and Dhupguri in Jalpaiguri districts. Durgapur Municipal Corporation in Burdwan West and Cooper's Camp Notified Authority in Nadia district are the two other ULBs that went to polls.

By-polls were held in ward number 12 under Champdani municipality and ward number 7 of Jhargram municipality.

With inputs from Agencies


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