The counting votes of violence-hit West Bengal Panchayat elections will take place on Thursday. On Wednesday, around 68 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the repolls held in 572 booths across West Bengal districts today and the polling was more or less peaceful amidst tight security arrangements, a State Election Commission official said.
The repolls in these booths were held following reports of widespread violence during the panchayat polls on Monday which had claimed at least 12 lives. As per the state election commission, repolling was ordered in 10 booths in Hooghly, 28 booths in West Midnapore, 52 booths in Coochbehar, 63 booths in Murshidabad, 60 booths in Nadia, 59 booths in North 24 Parganas, 55 booths in Malda, 73 booths in Uttar Dinajpur and 26 in South 24 Parganas among others.
Around 46,000 personnel of West Bengal Police, 12, 000 of Kolkata Police and 1,500 security personnel from other states have been deployed to maintain law and order.
The Panchayat polls in the state on May 14 was hit by violence in which 18 people were killed and 43 injured.
The West Bengal Panchayat election took place after a long legal battle in the Calcutta High Court and the Supreme Court by the ruling TMC and opposition parties.
The Supreme court on May 10 had ordered West Bengal State Election Commission to conduct the poll on May 14 as per its second notification. In its first notification, the poll was scheduled to take place in three phases on May 1, 3 and 5. The SEC was forced to modify the dates after the intervention of Calcutta High court.
Last week, the Calcutta High court had said that state government officials and the State Election Commission will be responsible for any loss of life or property will be
However, in a major setback to the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress, the apex court also asked the State Election Commission not to declare results of those candidates who have already won without any contest in the upcoming panchayat polls. As per media reports, 34 per cent of the seats were won by the ruling party candidates uncontested.