West Bengal panchayat polls: Re-elections remains peaceful, counting on Thursday

Barring a few isolated incidents, re-elections to 572 booths in 19 districts of West Bengal largely remained peaceful with 68 per cent votes being polled on Wednesday.

Published: 16th May 2018 08:08 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2018 10:56 PM   |  A+A-

Women stand in a queue to cast their vote for Panchayat election at a polling station in West Midnapore district of West Bengal on Monday. | PTI

Express News Service

KOLKATA: Barring a few isolated incidents, re-elections to 572 booths in 19 districts of West Bengal largely remained peaceful with 68 per cent votes being polled on Wednesday. The total polled votes would be counted at 291 centers across the state on Thursday morning.

However, State Election Commission has issued several guidelines to prevent violence during the counting of votes. The SEC has ordered imposition of Section 144 CrPC around 200 meters of all the booths and has prevented counting staff from carrying mobile phones inside the premises.

The SEC has also prohibited political parties from bringing out victory rallies till the entire counting process is completed. It has also ordered counting in every booth to be completed within a maximum of three rounds.

Regarding security arrangements, the SEC has ordered deployment of only armed policemen and stated that no police personnel wielding batons be posted in the counting centers. It has also stated that people exiting the centers during the counting process will not be allowed to reenter the premises.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday expressed displeasure over the report sent by West Bengal government on deaths of 23 people in the violence during panchayat election on Monday.

Terming the report sent by the state government as ‘incomplete and sketchy’, the Centre shot a letter to the state chief secretary seeking details of the deaths and injuries during election and the security measures in place for the election given the history of violence during panchayat election in West Bengal. The state government has been asked to send the detailed report as soon as possible.

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