Bengal civic polls peaceful barring some stray incidents
Kolkata: Brisk polling was recorded in the election to six municipalities across West Bengal on Sunday, the first major election after the 2011 Assembly polls, marked by some stray incidents of violence.
Viewed as the first major test of the popularity of the Trinamool Congress-led government after it stormed to power with an overwhelming mandate in the last Assembly polls, the elections were held amid tight security.
All 129 seats in the six civic bodies - Durgapur, Dhupguri, Haldia, Nalhati, Daspur and Coopers' Camp - witnessed triangular contests with the main contestants being from the Congress, Trinamool Congress and CPI(M)-led Left Front.
The seats were spread over five districts - Jalpaiguri, East Midnapore, Nadia, Birbhum and Bardhaman.
Cooper's Camp in Nadia has recorded the highest 92 per cent votes, while Election Commission sources said 80 per cent voters had cast their votes overall.
The ruling alliance partners - TMC and the Congress - fought the elections independently, the split blamed on an acrimonious relationship between the two parties ever since they formed the government.
Congress and oposition CPI-M alleged that the polls were far from free and fair and accused Trinamool activists of resorting to booth-capturing and rigging.
WBPCC President Pradip Bhattacharya said, "We are disappointed the way polls were held. Agents were physically assaulted and removed from booths by TMC workers. There were widespread irregularities. We have lodged a complaint with the state election commission."
CPI(M) also accused Trinamool Congress of harassing its candidates in Haldia, Panskura and Durgapur municipalities and said free and fair poll was not held at all.