Repolling begins for WB panchayat polls at 568 booths across 20 districts

After violence marred the Panchayat polls in West Bengal on Monday, repolling on Wednesday began amid tight security at the 568 booths from where the State Election commission (SEC), had received reports of violence. 

Expressing concerns over the violence that took place during the Panchayat polls, claiming at least 12 lives and leaving 43 others injured, contesting candidates had demanded that the SEC allow repolling.

"Repolling started at 7 in the morning and will end at 5 pm. The counting will take place tomorrow (on May 17)," the SEC officials said.

The state government and the poice have been asked to provide tight security arrangements to make sure the polling takes place in a free and fair manner, they said.

Of the booths where repolling is taking place, 28 are in West Midnapore, 52 in Coochbehar, 60 in Nadia, 63 in Murshidabad,  59 in North 24 Parganas, 55 in Malda,10 in Hooghly, 73 in Uttar Dinajpur and 26 in South 24 Parganas, they said.

Opposition parties accused the TMC of "unleashing a reign of terror and destroying democracy". However, TMC brushed aside the allegations as "baseless".

The Congress, Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), Communist Party of India (Marxist), including others staged protests outside the State Election Commission in Kolkata against the incidents of violence during the polls.

Several non-political organisations too, held protests outside the SEC office yesterday in against the violence on the polling day.

Taking note of the violence during the Panchayat polls, the Ministry of Home Affairs has sought a report from the state government.

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