West Bengal Panchayat polls gets underway

Police personal stand in queue to collect their duty schedule for the upcoming panchayet elections at Sukna on the outskirts of Siliguri on Friday | AFP

Police personal stand in queue to collect their duty schedule for the upcoming panchayet elections at Sukna on the outskirts of Siliguri on Friday | AFP

Kolkata: After a protracted legal battle, the much-awaited panchayat polls are all set to be held on Monday in West Bengal amid tight security. As per sources, after Ghosh slapped the individual, the minister's supporters pounced on the opposition leader and thrashed him.

The Supreme Court, in the past week, had directed the SEC to refrain from issuing a notification on results from those seats where no Opposition candidate entered the fray. Counting of votes will take place on May 17.

In Panskura of East Medinipur armed miscreants virtually took control at Gobindapur's 47 booth in presence of armed security personnel depriving the genuine voters of casting ballot.

In North 24 Parganas, the BJP accused the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) of letting loose a reign of terror in several parts of the district, especially in Amdanga area.

Considering the history of violence in the state panchayat polls, elaborate security arrangements have been made to maintain law and order during the polling. Samik Lahiri, CPI (M)- South 24 pgs District Secretary wrote to SEC, " I urge upon you to intervene and please ask the inert District Administration to act. The voters later lodged a police complaint. The TMC rubbished the allegations and had said the opposition do not have a mass base and are trying to evade the polls. The election mandate will decide the fate of 621 Zilla Parishad and 6,157 panchayats Samitis other than 31,827-gram panchayats. Notably, the polls were earlier scheduled between May 1 and May 7 but it was postponed to May 14, following violence-related incidents between Mamata Banerjee-led Trninamool Congress (TMC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) cadres.

It is notable that there was widespread violence between the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and opposition parties during the nomination filing process that claimed lives of many people.

Marked by Violence and clashes between the political parties, the date of filing of nominations was extended till April 23. In the 20 zilla parishads, 203 of the 825 seats were uncontested.

Around 46000 personnel of West Bengal Police, 12000 of Kolkata Police will get support from around 1500 security personnel from other states.

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