New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday strongly condemned poll-related violence that took place in West Bengal a day earlier.
At least 12 persons were killed during the course of voting in West Bengal Panchayat elections. Clashes erupted between Trinamool Congress and BJP workers - each accusing the other of resorting to violence. PM Modi though said that democracy took a hit. "People weren't allowed to file nominations. It isn't only BJP people who suffered. People from all the leading parties except the one that rules Bengal suffered," he said, pointing the finger at CM Mamata Banerjee. "This is serious. A land as great as West Bengal has to see such sights, it is unfortunate."
Highlighting that no election is as important as preserving democracy, PM Modi also said that such violence needs to be condemned and put an end to.
Notwithstanding the elaborate security arrangements in which 60,000 security personnel from West Bengal and other states were deployed, violence had broken out in North and South 24 Parganas, East Midnapore, Burdwan, Nadia, Murshidabad and South Dinajpur districts.
Opposition parties accused the ruling Trinamool Congress of unleashing a reign of terror and destroying democracy - a charge vehemently denied by Trinamool officials.