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​Bengal panchayat polls: After TMC's massive victory, BJP alleges 'loot' at counting centres

The ruling TMC secured victory on all 20 Zila Parishads in the three-tier panchayat system, winning 880 seats, while the BJP emerged as its closest rival which won 31 seats out of the total 928. The Congress-Left Front alliance secured 15 seats while others won the remaining two seats.

Ashesh Mallick Edited By: Ashesh Mallick Kolkata Published on: July 13, 2023 17:06 IST
Suvendu Adhikari
Image Source : PTI Suvendu Adhikari slams Mamata Banerjee govt in Bengal

War of words: The TMC and Opposition BJP engaged in a war of words on Thursday (July 13), as the ruling party emerged victorious in the West Bengal panchayat polls with massive margin, over the violence that rocked the state on the polling day.

The ruling TMC secured victory on all 20 Zila Parishads in the three-tier panchayat system, winning 880 seats, while the BJP emerged as its closest rival which won 31 seats out of the total 928. The Congress-Left Front alliance secured 15 seats while others won the remaining two seats.

Mamata Banerjee’s party won over 35,000 gram panchayat seats out of the total 63,219, whereas the BJP won around 10,000 seats, while the Left-Congress bagged about 6,000 seats.

However, the final tally of seats is yet to be released by the State Election Commission (SEC). The counting of votes began on Tuesday.

"The results have to be certified by the district officials, so it is taking some time. The final tally will hopefully be out in the evening," the SEC official said.

BJP leader and LoP in the state Assembly Suvendu Adhikari shared some video clips on Twitter alleging that rigging took place during the counting process.

He said that the people, despite the violence on the day of voting, went to the booths to cast their votes, however, they could not do the same at the counting centres where the administration perpetrated a ‘loot’.

"At the counting centres, the whole system worked to corner and create pressure on the opposition," he alleged.

Hitting back, TMC state general secretary Kunal Ghosh said that Adhikari was ‘preaching’ about free and fair elections when under his watch, the BJP ‘unleashed absolute havoc’ in his home district Purba Medinipur during the election.

Violence in Bengal

A 24-year-old Congress workers was beaten to death on Wednesday while several others were injured after a clash between TMC and Congress supporters in Rampur village in Malda district, police said. TMC officials also claimed that a party worker from South 24 Parganas district’s Chandpasha village was hacked to death by "BJP goons".

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said she is saddened at the loss of lives in "sporadic" incidents of violence during rural polls.

"I am saddened at the loss of lives in sporadic incidents of violence during panchayat elections...The polls were held in 71,000 booths, but incidents of violence took place in not more than 60 booths," she said.

The chief minister claimed that 19 people, mostly from her TMC, died in poll-related violence since the election date was announced on June 8.

Police sources, however, have put the number of fatalities at 38 but agree that at least 60 per cent of those who lost their lives were affiliated to the TMC.

Congress calls election a farce

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that the election has already been reduced to a farce.

"I must say that election has already been reduced to a farce, macabre dancing of the mockery of democracy was witnessed by all...It was well anticipated. According to our apprehension, violence, and nexus between the ruling party, Police, and Election Commission - threatening & intimidation, the unprecedented scale of violence has been unleashed resulting in the death of more than 40 persons. After the counting, post-poll violence will be unleashed," he added.

(With PTI inputs)

ALSO READ | Bengal panchayat polls: State BJP chief sits on dharna, accuses ruling TMC of 'fabricating results'

ALSO READ | West Bengal panchayat elections result 2023: Landslide victory for TMC; BJP distant second

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