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West Bengal Panchayat Elections 2023: Re-polling underway at 698 booths in 19 districts

The re-polling is being conducted to ensure a fair and transparent electoral process and to address the concerns raised regarding the previous polls.

Edited By : Mayank Kasyap | Updated: Jul 10, 2023 09:50 IST
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WB Panchayat polls

Kolkata: Re-polling is currently underway in 698 booths across five districts of West Bengal on Monday in response to the violence that occurred during the panchayat polls held in the state on July 8. The West Bengal State Election Commission (SEC) has announced that the re-polling will take place in the districts of Purulia, Birbhum, Jalpaiguri, Nadia and South 24 Parganas.

In an official release, the SEC stated, “The West Bengal State Election Commission, exercising the powers conferred on it by sub-section-3 and sub-section-4 of Section-67 of the said Act, hereby sets the 10th day of July 2023 as the date for conducting fresh polls from 7:00 hours to 17:00 hours continuously until completion. The District Panchayat Election Officer is directed to determine the polling stations where the re-polling will be held.”

Earlier polls were conducted on July 8

The initial panchayat polls took place on July 8, but allegations of ballot rigging and violence have marred the process. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Khagen Murmu, citing proxy voting by presiding officers and election staff in favor of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), called for re-polling in West Bengal. BJP’s state general secretary, Jagannath Chattopadhyay, also wrote to the State Election Commission, demanding re-polling.

Violence during panchayat polls leave 10 dead

The violence during the panchayat polls resulted in the loss of 10 lives and several injuries across the state. Incidents of widespread violence, ballot paper theft, and rigging were reported during the three-tier panchayat elections in 20 out of 30 districts. Booth capturing, ballot box damage, and assault on presiding officers were reported from various districts, including Murshidabad, Cooch Behar, Malda, South 24 Parganas, North Dinajpur, and Nadia.

The re-polling is being conducted to ensure a fair and transparent electoral process, addressing the concerns raised regarding the previous polls. The State Election Commission is working diligently to maintain law and order and uphold the democratic principles of free and fair elections in West Bengal.

First published on: Jul 10, 2023 09:32 AM IST

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