New Delhi, May 16: Repolling is being conducted at a few polling booths in Pujali, Domkal, Raiganj for the three municipalities in West Bengal Municipality Elections 2017 since the voting for these municipalities were marred with violence when the voting was conducted on Sunday, May 14. Repolling is being conducted in Pujali polling booth number 11, 12, 19; Domkal booth number 95, 96 and Raiganj booth number 22. As per the reports, bombs were hurled at a polling booth in South 24 Parganas’s Pujali even as voting was underway. The bombs were hurled at the poling booths by “Trinamool Congress goons” after which opposition parties CPM, Congress and BJP demanded a repoll in the Raiganj, Domkal and Pujali municipalities.
“Today the election turned into a farce after the way Trinamool Congress goons terrorised the Raiganj, Domkol and Pujali municipality areas. They hurled bombs and fired bullets to scare voters and Opposition agents,” said CPM’s state secretary Surjya kanta Mishra, reported Indian Express. “Three of our workers sustained bullet injuries. Moreover, the State Election Commission (SEC) failed to control the violence and turned into mute spectators along with the police. The poll panel has lost its credibility. It should countermand the election in Raiganj, Domkol and Pujali municipalities and order a repoll. The State Election Commissioner should admit that he failed to ensure free and fair polls today,” Indian Express quoted him saying. Following the violence, CPM, Congress and BJP withrew their candidates from Raiganj municipality. However, voting in Darjeeling, Kurseong, Mirik and Kalimpong were reportedly peaceful.
Accusing Mamata Banerjee government of the violence in the three municipalities, BJP’s state president Dilip Ghosh said that it was not the State Election Commission that was at fault but the “Mamata Commission” that has been operating in the state. “Barring elections in the hills, the polls in plains were completely a farce. TMC-backed goons hurled bombs to terrorise the voters. They roamed free from ward to ward with police turning a blind eye. They indulged in vote-looting and booth-capturing,” Dilip Ghosh said.
Along with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Congress party also asked for a repolling in the municipalities. “Our party agents were driven out of the booths and TMC goons indulged in booth-capturing. We have asked our candidates not to take this election seriously anymore as it turned into a farce. We want the election to be countermanded and there should be a repoll in Raiganj, Domkol and Pujali,” said state Congress president Adhir Chowdhury.
Rubbishing the allegations by the BJP, Congress, Trinamool Congress’ Secretary General Partha Chatterjee said that the Opposition parties have no faith in the democracy. “They had said that they wanted to build a resistance against the ruling party and today we have seen how it was done. The Opposition created disruption in the election process. It wants to halt the development ushered in by Mamata Banerjee government in rural Bengal. It is shameful that they do not know how to respect the mandate of people. I also heard that BJP workers stole EVMs and ran away from booths,” Chatterjee said.
The West Bengal Municipality Elections 2017 for Darjeeling, Kurseong, Mirik Notified Area Authority municiplaities in Darjeeling district, newly announced Kalimpong in the Kalimpong district, Raigunj in North Dinajpur district, Domkal in Murshidabad district and Pujali in South 24 Parganas district were conducted on May 14.