Tuesday, 22 May, 2018

Miscreants Brandish Gun, Escape With Ballot Box During West Bengal Panchayat Polls

A constable guards the strongroom with ballot boxes at Burdwan Vidyasagar School on Tuesday A constable guards the strongroom with ballot boxes at Burdwan Vidyasagar School on Tuesday
Sammy Stanley | 17 May, 2018, 00:14

The home ministry said the first report that the state had sent was "sketchy", PTI reported quoting unidentified officials.

Re-polling for rural body (panchayat) elections is underway in 568 centers in India's eastern state of West Bengal, officials said Wednesday. The area had witnessed the killing of a person and arrest of a TMC leader on the direction of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee ahead of the poll.

Several candidates aggrieved by the violence that marked Monday's panchayat polls in West Bengal had met State Commission (SEC) officials and demanded repolling in their booths.

The counting of votes will take place on Thursday. Contempt petitions should be issued against concerned police officers as their inaction on the polling day amounted to intervention with the administration of the court's order.

The voting took place for 621 zilla parishads, over six thousand panchayat samitis, and almost 31 thousand gram panchayats.

The state election commission declined to comment on Ray's death.

Senators press Scott Pruitt over lavish spending in EPA hearing Wednesday morning
That challenges Pruitt's account that the round-the-clock security was a result of threats against him after taking office. Pruitt in April showed his ability to bat away ethics questions from Democrats when he appeared before two House panels.

Such was the desperation of the ruling party to defeat the Opposition parties in 100 per cent seats, Mr Mannan alleged, that about 34 percent panchayat seats had gone uncontested.

This happened as a result of people's agitation when the re-polling started late in booth number 36/37.

The repolling has been ordered in 10 booths in Hooghly, 28 booths in West Midnapore, 52 booths in Coochbehar, 63 booths in Murshidabad, 60 booths in Nadia, 59 booths in North 24 Parganas, 55 booths in Malda, 73 booths in Uttar Dinajpur, 26 in South 24 Pargans, among others.

Violence was reported from Howrah and Bhangar in South 24 Parganas as well. At least 24 people were killed in violence during and after the elections. Some people are saying that it's a battle of survival for the Left and Congress; the BJP hopes to put up a fight and establish itself as the main opposition party.

The Centre on Wednesday asked the West Bengal government to send another detailed report on the violence that broke out during the panchayat election on Monday.

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