9 Dead In Violence As Bengal Votes For Panchayat Polls

9 Dead In Violence As Bengal Votes For Panchayat Polls
9 Dead In Violence As Bengal Votes For Panchayat Polls

In rural West Bengal, at least nine people have been killed during today’s crucial three-tier panchayat polls, which will serve as a litmus test for the 2024 parliamentary elections.

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Five Trinamool members were killed, along with workers of the BJP, Left and Congress, and a supporter of an Independent candidate, officials said. Security forces tasked with protecting the city were accused of a “colossal failure” by the ruling Trinamool Congress. The news agency PTI reported that at least two polling booths were destroyed as a result of violent clashes that injured several people.

5.67 crore people are eligible to vote for nearly 928 seats across 22 zilla parishads, 9,730 panchayat samitis, and 63,229 gram panchayats.

Bengal has been experiencing widespread violence since the polls were announced on June 8. According to PTI news agency, 15 people have died, including a teenager.

The Trinamool Congress campaign was led by Mamata Banerjee and Abhishek Banerjee.

A rerun of the 2018 rural polls, when the party won around 34% of the seats uncontested, would be prevented by shunning strong-arm tactics by its cadres.

Sukanta Majumdar, Dilip Ghosh, and Suvendu Adhikari led the BJP’s campaign; Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, state Congress president, and Mohammed Salim, state secretary of the CPI(M), led their parties’ campaigns.

There have also been clashes between the ruling Trinamool and the Indian Secular Front (ISF), whose presence is limited to parts of North and South 24 Parganas.

Among the first initiatives taken by the Raj Bhavan to address poll violence was the opening of a “Peace Home” at Governor CV Ananda Bose’s official residence.

As a result of the inception of the panchayati raj system in Bengal in the late 1970s, village council elections will be held under the watchful eye of central forces for the second time. A total of 65,000 central police officers and 70,000 state police officers will be deployed across Bengal today.

No matter how many central forces the BJP seeks, if they don’t have the support of people, the mandate will not change,” Abhishek Banerjee said. Trinamool won over 85 percent of the seats in the 2013 panchayat elections.

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