Asserting its pre-eminent position in rural West Bengal’s local bodies, the ruling Trinamool Congress emerged victorious in19,394 gram panchayat seats, according to results available till Thursday evening.
The BJP has emerged as the main challenger to the TMC in most districts and the saffron party bagged 5,050 gram panchayat seats till 2 pm.
West Bengal Panchayat Elections: Bombs and bullets overshadow ballots, leave 12 dead; 73% voter turnout recorded
Quoting sources in State Election Commission (SEC), PTI reported that the TMC was also ahead in 560 gram panchayat seats for which counting was in progress.
The BJP has won 5,050 seats and is leading in 55 seats, while the CPI(M) captured 1,306 gram panchayat seats and is ahead in another 27, the SEC sources told PTI.
The Congress won 315 seats and is leading in 61 seats, they said.
Independent candidates have won 707 gram panchayat seats and are leading in 120 seats.
The panchayat elections were held for 621 zilla parishads, 6,123 panchayat samitis and 31,802 gram panchayats in West Bengal on May 14.
The counting of votes began at 8 am amid tight security, the State Election Commission officials said.
Of the 48,650 seats in 3,358 gram panchayats, 16,814 were uncontested and of the 9,217 seats in 341 panchayat samitis, 3,059 were uncontested. In the 20 zilla parishads, 203 of the 825 seats were uncontested, the sources said.
As It Happened:
09:30 pm: TMC wins 19,394 gram panchayat seats, BJP distant second with 5,050 seats, CPI(M) slips to third spot till, according to results declared till evening.
05:05 pm: TMC won 9,270 gram panchayat seats, BJP 2,079 seats, CPI(M) 562 seats and Congress 315 seats till 2 pm: SEC
02:45 pm: TMC, BJP workers clash outside a counting Centre in Birbhum. Security personnel resort to lathi-charge.
01:56 pm: As per latest trends available for panchayat samiti seats, TMC has won 14 seats and leading in 24 seats. The other parties are yet to open their account in panchayat samiti seats, according to PTI
01:29 pm: TMC wins 2,467 gram panchayat seats, BJP wins 386, CPI(M) wins 94 gram panchayat seats till 12 noon, PTI quoted state EC officials.
12:27 pm: TMC workers have already started with the celebrations as trends suggest a landslide victory for the party in all spheres of the rural elections.
Watch video: TMC dominates gram panchayat results; BJP, CPI(M) distant second and third
11:31 am: In Howrah district, TMC is leading in 281 gram panchayat seats, while BJP is in second position with 4 seats
#WestBengal #PanchayatElection: Out of the total 31,814 that were contested for, TMC has won 110 & is leading on 1,208, BJP has won 4 & is leading on 81, while CPI(M) has won 3 seats & has a lead on 58. Counting in progress.— ANI (@ANI) May 17, 2018
11:09 am: Trinamool Congress surges ahead in 1,800 gram panchayat seats while the BJP and CPI(M) are leading in 100 and 30 gram panchayat seats respectively, PTI reports, quoting state election commission official.
10:32 am: BJP comes second in most places ahead of CPI(M), according to initial trends.
10:17 am: TMC has already won several seats in the gram panchayat polls. The data released by the West Bengal Election Commission shows that 34.2 percent or 20,076 of the 58,692 seats were uncontested in the panchayat elections.
09:58 am: Trinamool Congress wins six gram panchayat seats and is ahead in most of the seats where counting started.
08:10 am: Counting of votes for West Bengal panchayat election begins. No untoward incident reported so far.
08:00 am: Reacting to the death of poll official Rajkumar Roy in North Dinajpur district, BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra lashed out at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for "crying foul" of democracy being murdered. "What’s happening in Bengal is unbelievable," he said in a tweet.
07:26 am: The Centre on Wednesday termed as "sketchy" details on the panchayat polls violence and asked the West Bengal government to send another report, an official said. The second communication was sent two days after a similar one following large-scale violence during the elections to the local bodies in the state on Monday. Over a dozen lives were lost in the violence.
07:25 am: The Union home ministry has asked the West Bengal government to provide a detailed report on the violence during the polls as the report the state government had sent was "sketchy", the official said. The state government has been told to provide details on the circumstances leading to the violence and the steps taken to restore peace and punish those involved.