After pre-poll violences, court battles Bengal votes today in panchayat elections

After pre-poll violences, court battles Bengal votes today in panchayat elections

Political parties are viewing today's poll as a warm up match ahead of the 2019 general elections. After being slapped, the BJP worker is seen being escorted out of the place.

The counting for the the single-phase polls will take place on May 17. Around 26.28 per cent voter turnout was recorded till 11am in West Bengal panchayat polls.

A TMC worker named Arif Gazi was shot dead in Kultali area of South 24 Parganas district, reported ANI. A bus was broken and rampaged and government polling workers were attacked by miscreants in Burdwan district CPI-M has filed complaint in this regard with State Election Commission today, stating that suspected TMC miscreants had torched the house of Debu Das and burnt him and his wife to death. It has asked the police to take action, officials said.

Violence was reported in Burdwan districts too. Televisions channels showed the minister purportedly slapping the person. They also accused the TMC for inciting violence during the nomination process for the polls.

In Dinhata area of Cooch Behar, 20 voters were injured after clashes broke out between two groups outside a polling station. Senior minister Jyotipriyo Mullick said TMC workers were not involved in the incident and accused the BJP of terrorising the voters. Since filing of nominations began on April 2, opposition parties in the state, including the CPM, BJP and Congress, claimed that many of their candidates could not file their papers due to what they called Trinamool's "terror tactics", an allegation the ruling party has denied.

In North 24 Parganas, a CPI-M worker was killed during clashes while two others received injuries. The TMC has termed the allegations as baseless.

In the polls underway, a total of 621 zilla parishads are being contested, along with 6,157 seats in 341 panchayat samiti seats and 31,827 seats in 3,385 gram panchayats. Highlights of the Panchayat Polls from morning:1) Angry voter pour water in a Ballot box in South 24 Parganas district's Rajarhat protesting large scale violence and booth capturing. Strict security arrangements have been made for the polls, and about 1,500 security personnel have been deployed from Assam, Odisha, Sikkim and Andhra Pradesh.

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