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PM Narendra Modi pans TMC government over panchayat poll violence

PM Narendra Modi pans TMC government over panchayat poll violence

In the polling booths of North 24 Parganas, South 24 Paragana and West Midnapore, security personnel maintained strict vigil on the re-polling process and kept these areas nearly violence-free. Counting is taking place in 291 centres in 20 districts in which elections took place.

Barring few stray incidents of violence in some booths, the re-polling in 572 polling booths in West Bengal panchayat elections was largely peaceful on Wednesday. The central government has asked for a second detailed report on the violence, saying that the initial report was "sketchy".

As the day progressed, reports of clashes, booth capturing, vandalising of ballot boxes and rigging were received from pockets of South and North 24 Parganas, North Dinajpur, Nadia, West Midnapore and Cooch Behar districts.

Addressing the media party workers at BJP headquarters in New Delhi, Prime Minister Modi said, "There is one more thing I want to talk about...the scenes from the Panchayat Elections in West Bengal". Over a dozen people were killed in the violence.

The BJP said they had demanded repolling at 2,300 booths across the state. Before the polls, Trinamool candidates were elected unopposed in 34 percent of the seats, a figure the Supreme Court called "worrying" while directing the commission not to declare them winners.

The panchayat elections were held for 621 zilla parishads, 6,123 panchayat samitis and 31,802 gram panchayats in West Bengal on May 14.

Widespread violence during the panchayat polls yesterday left at least 12 people dead and 43 injured, even as more than 73 per cent of the electorate turned up to cast their vote.

The ruling Trinamool Congress won all the six gram panchayat seats declared till 9:45am.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPM, alleged that two of its supporters-Debu Das and his wife Usha Das-were burnt alive in Kakdweep in South 24 Parganas district on Sunday evening. TMC's secretary general Partha Chatterjee told NDTV, "The Prime Minister has reacted to his disappointment at not getting a majority in Karnataka. No BJP worker was killed".

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