West Bengal panchayat polls: As it happened on May 14, 2018

The run-up to the WB rural polls witnessed intense violence, a series of court cases, and clashes among supporters of ruling TMC and opposition BJP, Congress and Left

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 00:20

Kolkata: At least eight people were killed on Monday in West Bengal as violence and clashes between supporters of different parties in several districts marred voting for the rural bodies. 

Initially, voting for the rural bodies was to be held on May 1, 3 and 5 but as the nomination process started in April, it was rescheduled to May 14 by the SEC following a Calcutta High Court order to extend the nomination deadline and announce a fresh polling date.

Statistics reveal that of the total 58,692 seats in the three tiers of the rural local bodies, 20,076 seats, or 34.2 percent, have been decided uncontested, with the Trinamool Congress bagging a whopping proportion of these seats, as per IANS. These include 16,814 of the total 48,650 gram panchayats seats, 3,059 of the 9,217 panchayat samiti seats and 203 of the 825 zila parishad seats. The Supreme Court has now asked the SEC not to issue winning certificates in these seats.
 

15 May 2018, 00:16 AM

Widespread violence during the panchayat polls in West Bengal on Monday left at least eight people dead and 43 injured, as 73 percent of the electorate turned out to cast their vote. 

Notwithstanding the elaborate security arrangements in which 60,000 security personnel from West Bengal and other states were deployed, violence broke out in North and South 24 Parganas, East Midnapore, Burdwan, Nadia, Murshidabad and South Dinajpur districts.

Despite the violence, State Election Commission (SEC) sources said, as per PTI, that 73 percent polling was recorded till 5 pm, the closing hour, but many more voters were still in the queue.

14 May 2018, 20:57 PM

At least 12 people died have died. The identity of six more yet to be ascertained. Three police personnel also injured. Last year 25 people were killed in the election. Security has been taken care of. We hope rest of the election will pass peacefully: Surajit Kar Purkayasth a,West Bengal DGP

14 May 2018, 16:06 PM

Overall 56% polling recorded till 3 pm in West Bengal.

14 May 2018, 14:46 PM

West Bengal: Ballot boxes looted at gunpoint by unidentified people at 44, 45 and 45K booths in Murshidabad.

14 May 2018, 14:45 PM

14 May 2018, 14:44 PM

14 May 2018, 13:15 PM

In five hours of polling, four people died - One CPM member, one TMC supporter, one BJP member and one unidentified miscreant

 

 

14 May 2018, 13:04 PM

According to the State Election Commission (SEC), 12.2 per cent votes were cast in the initial two hours of polling till 9 am.

 

14 May 2018, 13:03 PM

The Opposition parties and ruling TMC blamed each other for the violence and clashes that marred the panchayat polls on Monday.

14 May 2018, 13:01 PM

Reports of few elements pouring water into ballot boxes to stop the polling process emerged. 

14 May 2018, 12:55 PM

"Not surprised by all the incidents that are happening since morning. Bengal govt is a shameless govt, you cannot expect them to follow any kind of constitutional behaviour. I demand President's Rule in WB," said Union Minister Babul Supriyo on violence in various during Panchayat Election

14 May 2018, 12:42 PM

14 May 2018, 11:58 AM

A Trinamool Congress worker named Arif Gazi shot dead in Kultali area of South 24 Parganas district.

14 May 2018, 11:44 AM

At least 20 people have been injured after a crude bomb explosion in Amdanga's Sadhanpur in North 24 Parganas, reported news agency ANI.

14 May 2018, 11:33 AM

West Bengal Minister Rabindra Nath Ghosh caught on camera slapping a BJP supporter. However, he denied slapping the opposition party worker saying he was merely trying to move people away using his hand. He said, "BJP agent was trying to run away with ballot box, officers caught hold of him but people said let him go. I just drove people away using my hand, that's all. TMC hasn't attacked anyone."

14 May 2018, 11:32 AM

14 May 2018, 11:07 AM

"The person was injured after knife attack, allegedly by TMC workers, is a BJP candidate from Bilkanda. His name is Raju Biswas and he is undergoing treatment at Panihati State General Hospital," reports news agency ANI.

14 May 2018, 11:05 AM

A BJP supporter was seriously injured in Barrackpur's Bilkanda village. Party members have alleged TMC workers are behind this attack. 

 

14 May 2018, 10:28 AM

North Bengal Development Minister Rabindranath Ghosh reportedly slapped a BJP polling agent. Losing his cool, Ghosh dragged the man out of the polling booth in Cooch Behar's Dauwaguri. 

14 May 2018, 10:11 AM

Yet another footage showed people, armed with sticks, blocking roads in South 24 Parganas' Bhangar.

 

14 May 2018, 09:56 AM

The footage below shows some men, armed with heavy sticks, stopping people on the streets. 

14 May 2018, 09:50 AM

Incidents of violence being reported from other districts. A media vehicle was torched in Bhangar, with the camera broken. Mediapersons were not allowed to enter the area, reported news agency ANI.

14 May 2018, 09:30 AM

A clash broke out between two groups in Cooch Behar with the polls underway. "We went there to votee but people belonging to TMC attacked us with sticks," said locals. Over 20 people were injured.

14 May 2018, 09:29 AM

Two persons-- a CPM worker and his wife -- died after their house was allegedly torched on Sunday night 

14 May 2018, 08:20 AM

 

14 May 2018, 07:33 AM

Over 71,000 armed personnel on duty, manning every booth. Armed forces have also arrived from Assam, Odisha, Sikkim and Andhra Pradesh to strengthen security arrangements.

14 May 2018, 07:32 AM

Pre-poll statistics reveal that of the total 58,692 seats in the three tiers of rural local bodies, 20,076 seats or 34.2 per cent have already been decided uncontested, with the Trinamool bagging a whopping proportion of these seats.

 

14 May 2018, 07:23 AM

As the nomination process started last month, all the opposition parties accused the Trinamool of indulging in strongarm tactics to prevent them from filing nominations. Television pictures broadcast across the channels showed groups of armed mobs gathering before the offices of the Block Development Officers and the Sub-Divisional Officers in a number of districts and stopping prospective candidates from entering the poll fray. The matter reached the Calcutta High Court, and the State Election Commission (SEC) extended the deadline for submitting nominations by a day, only to reverse the order in less than 12 hours, allegedly under pressure from the Trinamool.

The judiciary then put a stay on the elections, then scheduled to be held on May 1, 3 and 5. More bitter legal battles followed, at the end of which the SEC declared May 14 as the new polling date.

14 May 2018, 07:23 AM

Pre-poll surveys predict that the results of rural elections will be a precursor to national elections. The BJP is likely to emerge as the chief rival to the Trinamool, claims surveys.

14 May 2018, 07:20 AM

14 May 2018, 07:17 AM

Long queues were seen outside several booths as people from all social and economic backgrounds patiently waited for their turn to exercise to vote.

 

14 May 2018, 07:15 AM

Polling began at 7 am on Monday. Over 38,616 local representatives across three tiers to be elected in West Bengal Panchayat polls

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