WB panchayat polls: “3 party workers killed”, alleges TMC

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Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: 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.
Earlier, a polling booth at Baravita Primary School in Sitai, Coochbehar has been allegedly vandalised and ballot papers set on fire.

A viral video accessed by ANI shows broken chairs and tables strewn inside a smoke-filled room.

Polling for panchayats in West Bengal began this morning under stringent security cover.
Since the dates for elections were announced on June 8, violence gripped the state.

In the latest flashpoint, just hours ahead of the panchayat polls, a house was vandalised in Murshidabad as the workers of the Trinamool Congress and Congress came to blows on Friday night.

Multiple incidents of violence have been reported in the state in the run-up to the panchayat elections.

The polls are likely to see a fierce tussle for control of local administrations between the ruling TMC and the BJP and will be a litmus test for both parties ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha elections.

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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