After widespread violence during West Bengal Panchayat polls on Monday, re-polling took place in 568 booths across West Bengal today amid tight security. The West Bengal Panchayat election results will be declared on Thursday, May 17. The panchayat polls are one of the best political weathervanes in Bengal.
In Monday's panchayat poll violence that swept across Bengal, 13 people died and around 50 were injured. Instances of violence -- bomb attack, booth capture, ballot boxes set on fire and attacks on journalists -- were reported from at least eight districts.
Following the complains of violence, the West Bengal State Election Commission ordered re-polling in 568 booths on Wednesday.
Re-polling took place 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, 26 in South 24 Pargans, among others.
Of the 58,000-plus seats in the state, more than 38,000 were up for contest. Before the polls, Trinamool candidates were elected unopposed in 34 per cent seats, a figure the Supreme Court took note of and dubbed as "worrying" while directing the commission not to declare them as winners.
The filing of nominations, which was held from April 2 to April 9 and then again on an extended date on April 23, also witnessed clashes between supporters of the ruling TMC and opposition political parties in the state leading to several deaths.
Last week, the Calcutta High Court ruled that the state's officials and the Election Commission will be personally responsible for security. They will have to pay compensation if the loss of life and property exceeded the figures of the 2013 panchayat elections.