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Bengal Election Commission orders repolling at six booths of 3 municipalities

LiveMint logoLiveMint 15-05-2017 Arkamoy Dutta Majumdar

Kolkata: The West Bengal Election Commission on Monday ordered a repoll at six booths of three municipalities, elections to which and four more were held on Sunday, amid allegations of rampant electoral malpractices by the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC).

Repolling will take place on Tuesday.

Opposition parties were not impressed with the commission’s decision. Alleging widespread violence and intimidation, they demanded that the polls be scrapped altogether.

Sujan Chakraborty, a leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPM, described the elections to the Domkal, Pujali and Raigunj municipalities as a “mockery of democracy”.

Repoll in only six booths will not make any difference to the outcome, Chakraborty added.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president Dilip Ghosh said the election watchdog did not arrange for central forces at these municipalities because the state administration didn’t want it, whereas central forces were deployed in the four municipalities in Darjeeling district because the state wanted them deployed.

Elections to the four municipalities in Darjeeling were peaceful.

The BJP said it will be sending a report on electoral malpractices witnessed on Sunday to its central leadership. This report is to be prepared under the oversight of the party’s national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya.

West Bengal Pradesh Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said he would step down as a member of Parliament if the Trinamool Congress could seize the Raigunj municipality with a free and fair poll. He had earlier asked Congress candidates in Domkal municipality to stand down in view of the violence they faced.

Meanwhile, the state police on Monday arrested at least four persons from Canning and Joynagar in South 24 Parganas district for allegedly disrupting polling in the Pujali municipality. They were charged with illegal possession of arms. That apart, at least seven crude bombs were neutralised and seven motorbikes seized.

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