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More violence witnessed in West Bengal civic polls

LiveMint logoLiveMint 13-08-2017 Arkamoy Dutta Majumdar

Kolkata: More violence was witnessed on Sunday as elections were held to seven civic bodies in West Bengal with opposition parties clashing with Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers across the state. This was the second set of civic body elections in four months, and the clashes on Sunday were much less intense than in May.

The Left parties withdrew their candidates from the election to the Haldia municipality, alleging intimidation. Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Mohammad Salim said elections held on the watch of West Bengal state election commission had turned into a “joke”.

There were sporadic clashes between workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and TMC workers in Durgapur —the biggest of the seven civic bodies to which elections were held on Sunday—and the two parties blamed each other for the skirmishes in which at least two police personnel were injured.

TMC leader and cabinet minister Aroop Biswas said the BJP had hired goons from outside Durgapur to attack voters, while the BJP’s state president Dilip Ghosh said miscreants affiliated to the TMC disrupted polling. BJP workers disrupted traffic on National Highway 2, but were dispersed by the police. Ghosh alleged peaceful protestors were beaten up.

At least four TMC candidates won unopposed: one each in Durgapur and Cooper’s Camp Notified Area, and two in Panskura.

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