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“TMC hooliganism… openly looting ballots”: BJP’s Sukanta Majumdar

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Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: Alleging “TMC workers have been murdered,” West Bengal minister Shashi Panja hit out at the central forces for “failing to protect the citizens” as the voting began for the single-phase panchayat polls in West Bengal on Saturday.

Claiming “shocking” and “tragic” incidents have unfolded ahead of the Panchayat elections in West Bengal, the minister said, “The BJP, CPI(M) and Congress had colluded together and were clamouring for Central forces.

Where is the deployment? Why have the central forces failed to protect the citizens?” “TMC workers have been murdered, two have been shot at. Those who were asking for deployment, saying that these central forces are the guardians of peace – the guardians have failed, faltered to protect the rights of citizens,” Panja told media.

Earlier, Trinamool Congress alleged that three of its party workers have been murdered in multiple incidents of violence in West Bengal after polling for the single-phase panchayat elections began in the state on Saturday morning.

“Shocking and tragic incidents send shockwaves through the voting community. Three of our party workers have been murdered in Rejinagar, Tufanganj and Khargram and two have been left wounded from gunshots in Domkol,” tweeted TMC.

In a long Twitter post, TMC took on central forces for failing to ensure the safety and security of the people.

“The @BJP4Bengal,@CPIM_WESTBENGAL and @INCWestBengal have been clamouring for the deployment of Central Forces. So, where are the Central Forces when they are needed the most?,” the TMC further said.

“This signals a colossal failure on their part to ensure the safety and security of the people before the polls have even commenced!”, TMC said in another tweet.

Around 5.67 crore voters are likely to exercise their franchise to choose representatives for nearly 928 seats across 22 zilla parishads, 9,730 panchayat Samiti, and 63,239-gram panchayats seats.

West Bengal has 3,341 gram panchayats and the number of village panchayat election centres is 58,594. There are 63,239 seats at the Gram Panchayat level, 9730 at Panchayat Samiti and 928 at the Zila Parishad level.

The counting of votes will be held on July 11.

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