Bengal panchayat poll peaceful

Bengal panchayat poll peaceful

The fifth and final phase of polling on Thursday in the ongoing Panchayat elections across west Bengal went off largely peacefully, barring sporadic clashes and complaints of poll-rigging and booth-jamming.

The death toll since the first phase of the elections began on July 11 rose to 26, with one person dying in a clash on the final day. A CPM cadre died at Itahar in North Dinajpur district after he was severely assaulted by Trinamool Congress activists, according to this party leaders.  In a related incident at Jalpaiguri district in north Bengal, an elderly person died while standing in a queue outside a polling booth. He succumbed to stress after being allegedly threatened to cast his vote for the Trinamool Congress.

On Thursday, polling took place at the four north Bengal districts of Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar, North and South Dinajpur, with most incidents of violence being reported from North Dinajpur.

Besides some procedural issues at Kotwali in Cooch Behar district, polling was largely peaceful although the CPM alleged that houses of some of its cadres were attacked by Trinamool supporters.

A number of people were injured in clashes across Jalpaiguri but no casualties have been reported.

With north Bengal being a Congress stronghold, clashes were mostly between Congress and the Trinamool or CPM supporters.

Union Minister of State for Urban Development Deepa Dasmunshi, a Congress MP from North Dinajpur, accused the  Trinamool and CPM of spreading violence across the state and claimed that the ruling party and the Left maintain a tacit understanding against the Congress in her district.

Comments (+)