12 Dead in Bengal Poll Violence, BJP Demands President’s Rule

The TMC has downplayed the allegations of violence, claiming it was far less compared to the previous Left rule 

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Widespread violence during the panchayat polls in West Bengal has claimed at least 12 lives and left 43 injured, as 73 percent of the voters turned out to cast their vote.

Notwithstanding the elaborate security arrangements in which 60,000 security personnel from West Bengal and other states were deployed, violence broke out in North and South 24 Parganas, East Midnapore, Burdwan, Nadia, Murshidabad and South Dinajpur districts.

Polling booths were mainly targeted during the violence after clashes broke out between Trinamool Congress supporters and opposition party workers. Crude bombs were also hurled near several polling stations.

The TMC has downplayed the allegations of violence, claiming it was far less compared to the previous Left rule 
Unknown people burn ballot boxes after snatching them from a polling booth in Malda.
(Photo: PTI)

Despite the violence, State Election Commission sources have said that 73 percent polling was recorded till 5 pm but many more voters were still in the queue.

Opposition parties haveaccused the ruling Trinamool Congress of unleashing a reign of terror and destroying democracy.

First they didn’t allow people to file nominations. Then, after filing nominations, TMC started threatening the candidates to withdraw their votes. The people who didn’t withdraw were attacked. This is nothing but a complete destruction of democratic process
Sitaram Yechury, General secretary, CPI(M)

CPI leader D Raja said it was a farce of an election and the Mamata Banerjee government should have taken steps to save democracy in West Bengal.

However, the TMC downplayed the violence, saying it was far less compared to the previous rule of the Left.


The state police and the SEC gave a break-up of the incidents of violence and about the people who died today.

2 persons were killed In East Midnapore’s Nandigram block-2. “Bike-borne miscreants threw bombs on voters waiting in queue outside a booth,” SP S N Kumar said.

In another incident in Nandigram, 15 people were injured in a clash outside a booth. “One person was hit on the head with a knife while another lost his finger. In the district's Contai area, chilli powder was thrown at an Independent candidate and four others, police said.

A State Election Commission (SEC) official said that a man was shot dead near a polling booth in Sujapur village in Murshidabad. Local BJP unit leader Subhas Modal claimed the victim was a party worker.


In South Dinajpur, a man was killed and 4 others were injured after a bomb was hurled outside a polling station. One person was killed in clashes between two groups outside a polling booth in Nakashipara area in Nadia district, while another death was reported from Shantipur area.

The SEC official said that bombs were hurled outside a polling station in Amdanga area of North 24 Paragans in which a man, said to be a CPI(M) supporter, died and another was injured.

At Kultali in South 24 Parganas, one person was killed when a bomb was hurled outside a polling station. In Cooch Behar district, North Bengal Development Minister Rabindranath Ghosh allegedly slapped a person outside a polling booth. SEC has confirmed receiving a complaint regarding the same and has asked the authorities to take necessary action.


The panchayat poll was held after a protracted legal battle in the Calcutta High Court and the Supreme Court involving the SEC, the TMC and the opposition parties.

BJP state president Dilip Ghosh attacked the TMC for turning the polls into a farce. CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty claimed that democracy has been murdered by TMC in the state.

The TMC has termed the allegations baseless and concocted.

There have been a couple of isolated incidents. The administration has taken necessary steps in all the cases. We have seen elections during the Left Front rule when we used to witness bloodbath and death.
Partha Chatterjee, Education Minister, West Bengal

CPI(M) workers led by senior party leaders Biman Bose and Surya Kanta Mishra have staged a sit-in outside the SEC office in the city. Congress workers have staged a protest rally outside the SEC office too.

(With inputs from PTI)

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