West Bengal Panchayat elections: 12 killed in violence, war of words between political parties

Jackson Brown

West Bengal Panchayat Election News : Twelve people were killed in widespread violence during the three-tier panchayat elections in West Bengal on Saturday. During the voting, ballot papers were damaged and bombs were thrown at each other by rival groups in several villages. The violence has triggered accusations and counter-allegations between political parties.

The officers provided this information. Officials said ballot papers were damaged during the voting and bombs were hurled at each other by rival groups in several villages. West Bengal has a long history of violence during panchayat elections. During the 2003 panchayat elections, 76 people died in violence and 40 were killed on polling day alone.

Thirty people have been killed in West Bengal since the election date was announced last month. Earlier in the 2018 elections also the same number of people had died.

The violence has triggered accusations and counter-allegations between political parties. Officials said eight members of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), one worker each from the Bharatiya Janata Party, Communist Party of India-Marxist, Congress and the Indian Secular Front (ISF) were among those killed in the violence since midnight.

The election is being seen by analysts as a ‘test’ for the 2024 parliamentary elections. Scenes of theft and burning of ballot boxes and public anger against political workers were also witnessed during the polling on Saturday. Murshidabad, Nadia and Cooch Behar districts, besides Bhangar in South 24 Parganas and Nandigram in East Medinipur have witnessed violence.

Voting began at 7 am in 73,887 seats in the state’s rural areas and would decide the fate of nearly 2.06 lakh candidates, officials said. He said that till 5 pm, 66.28 percent polling was recorded.

With the voting picking up pace, political parties leveled allegations and counter-allegations at each other. Senior TMC minister Shashi Panja said, shocking incidents are being reported since last night. There was a nexus between the BJP, the CPI(M) and the Congress. He also raised questions on the role of central forces.

Leader of Opposition in the state assembly and BJP leader Shubhendu Adhikari has demanded that President’s rule be imposed in the state. He said, it is very difficult to conduct free and fair elections under the state government. This is possible only when President’s rule is imposed in the state or Article 355 is invoked.

See also  A cyber attack on the computer systems of the Cangas City Council prevents the payment of 229 payrolls

However, in a statement, the TMC said, “If the Trinamool Congress really instigates the violence, why are their workers being targeted and killed?” The opposition has accepted defeat and is now using its allies in the media to spin a narrative of how the violence affected the election.

The statement said that there are more than 60,000 booths across West Bengal, but only 60 booths were disrupted during the polling process. Meanwhile, Congress leader Kaustav Bagchi said he has made a representation to the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court seeking an urgent hearing on a petition seeking to invalidate Saturday’s panchayat polls in West Bengal due to incidents of violence and killings. has been requested.

Governor CV Anand Bose visited various areas of North 24 Parganas, met those injured in the violence and listened to their grievances. Bose said, people on the way requested me to stop my convoy. There are so many stories to tell, he told me about the murder incidents happening around him.

They (people) also said that the goons did not allow them to go to the polling stations and the presiding officers did not listen to them, the governor said. These are isolated cases, but even a single incident of bloodshed should be a cause of concern for all of us.

The Governor said, this is the most auspicious day for democracy. These are isolated incidents, but they must stop. According to officials, BJP’s polling agent Madhav Biswas was allegedly killed in Coochbehar district’s Falimari gram panchayat.

The BJP alleged that when Biswas tried to enter the polling booth, Trinamool Congress supporters stopped them and they killed Biswas as the brawl escalated. However, the Trinamool Congress has denied the allegations.

According to police, a supporter of an independent candidate was beaten to death late on Friday night in Kadambagachi area of ​​North 24 Parganas district. Superintendent of Police Bhaskar Mukherjee said 41-year-old Abdullah Ali had died, but later the Superintendent of Barasat Hospital said Ali was seriously injured and on a ventilator, not dead.

See also  Selfies and kisses with Putin, the Russian leader takes to the streets to counter his image crisis

Officials said TMC and Congress workers clashed at Golpokhar in North Dinajpur, where the TMC panchayat chief’s husband was killed. Officials said a Trinamool Congress worker was killed in late night poll-related violence in Kapasdanga area of ​​Murshidabad district. Officials said that the deceased has been identified as Babar Ali.

Another Trinamool Congress worker, identified as Sabiruddin SK, was killed in Khargram area of ​​the district. The TMC also alleged that one of its booth committee members in Cooch Behar’s Tufanganj 2 panchayat committee was killed in a BJP attack.

The brother of a TMC leader was killed in clashes with Congress supporters in Malda district, police officials said. He said that the incident took place at Jisharattola under Manikchak police station area and the deceased has been identified as Malek Shaikh. The TMC also alleged that one of its workers was killed in Chhapra, Nadia.

An ISF worker was killed in clashes with TMC in Haringhat area of ​​the district, police said. The victim has been identified as Saidul Shaikh, 48. TMC’s Nadia unit president Debasish Ganguly claimed that the incident took place when ISF workers hurled crude bombs targeting Trinamool Congress workers.

A bomb, he claimed, fell from his hand and exploded. Sheikh’s family, however, alleged that he was killed in an attack by Trinamool Congress supporters. A 38-year-old man was killed at Basanti in South 24 Parganas district, police said. The incident took place in Phulmalancha area and the deceased has been identified as Anisur.

A Congress worker was allegedly killed in election-related violence in Murshidabad’s Rejinagar police station area. The slain activist has been identified as Yasmin SK. CPI(M)’s Rajibul Haque was seriously injured in an attack by Trinamool Congress supporters in Aushagram 2 block of East Barddhaman district. He died during treatment in a hospital.

The TMC alleged that CPI(M) supporters killed one of its supporters outside a polling booth in Katawa area of ​​the district. The deceased has been identified as Gautam Roy. Destruction of ballot boxes and intimidation of voters were also reported from some areas.

According to officials, ballot boxes were smashed and ballot papers set on fire at a polling station at Barvita Government Primary School in Dinhata in Cooch Behar district. At another polling station in Baranchina area, locals also set ablaze a ballot box with ballot papers alleging bogus voting, he said.

See also  Luis Lorenzo and his wife, after being exonerated of poisoning 'Aunt Isabel': "We have been victims of public ridicule"

Protests were also held in various areas demanding the deployment of central forces. In Nandigram, women voters gheraoed a police officer with poison bottles in their hands and demanded that central forces be deployed in the area.

Sharing a video of open ballot boxes placed in the field, CPI(M) state secretary Mohammad Salim tweeted, “Voting is over.” Position of ballots, ballot boxes in a polling station. By the way, this picture is of Diamond Harbour. Around 70,000 personnel of the state police besides 600 companies of central forces have been deployed for the panchayat elections in West Bengal.

Sharing a video on Twitter, BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar alleged that the State Election Commission (SEC) was reluctant to deploy central forces sent to West Bengal. On one hand the SEC was reluctant to deploy central forces, he asked.

On the other hand, civilian workers were deployed on election duty. This clearly shows that the State Government and SEC have hoodwinked the court. Is SEC helping Trinamool goons to capture booths by keeping quiet?

The state has 63,229 gram panchayat seats and 9,730 panchayat samiti seats in 22 districts, while 928 zilla parishad seats in 20 districts. The ruling Trinamool Congress contested all 928 seats in Zilla Parishads, 9,419 seats in Panchayat Samitis and 61,591 seats in Gram Panchayats. The BJP fielded candidates for 897 Zilla Parishad seats, 7,032 Panchayat Samiti seats and 38,475 Gram Panchayat seats.

The CPI(M) contested 747 Zilla Parishad seats, 6,752 Panchayat Samiti seats and 35,411 Gram Panchayat seats. The Congress has won 644 Zilla Parishad seats, 2,197 Panchayat Samiti seats and 11,774 Gram Panchayat seats.

Panchayat elections are considered very important for political parties, as it will give an opportunity to assess the strength and weakness of their organization before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Apart from this, this election will also underline the mood of the state regarding the first two years of the third consecutive term of the Trinamool Congress government.
Chetan Gour (Language)

Leave a Comment