Elections were held again in West Bengal in about 700 centers which were canceled due to extreme violence, looting of ballot boxes and at least 18 deaths. There was violence in the re-election of the panchayats of the state today. However, no loss of life has been reported today.
According to the State Election Commission, re-election was held in 697 booths of 19 districts on Monday. Voting starts from 7 am till 5 pm. This time also voting is done on ballot paper.
Murshidabad district has the highest number of polling stations in the state with 175 polling stations. Central force jawans and state police personnel have been deployed at each center to avoid chaos.
Earlier on July 8, 20 out of 22 districts of the state held tri-level panchayat (gram sabha, panchayat samiti, zila parishad) polls. Two-tier panchayat (gram sabha, panchayat samiti) polls were held in the remaining two districts, Darjeeling and Kalimpong.
On that day, political clashes, looting of ballots, beatings, fake votes, shootings and murders took place in various districts of the state. 18 people died. Earlier, 20 more people died in violence during nomination papers and campaigning since June 9.
Due to the rampant electoral violence, the leaders of West Bengal’s opposition parties BJP, Congress and CPM have demanded immediate cancellation of this year’s panchayat elections and re-election. Apart from this, they have demanded the immediate imposition of central rule to avoid violence and protect the lives and property of the people of the state.