KOLKATA: The counting of West Bengal Gram Panchayat Election Results 2018 for 621 zilla parishads, over six thousand panchayat samitis, and nearly 31 thousand gram panchayats are currently underway. The zilla parishads are Bankura, Burdwan, Birbhum, Darjeeling, Howrah, Hooghly, Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar, Malda, Paschim Medinipur, Purba Medinipur, Murshidabad, Nadia, Purulia, North 24-Parganas, South 24-Parganas, Dakshin Dinajpur, Uttar Dinajpur, Siliguri MP, Kolkata-North, Alipurduar, Kolkata-South and Paschim Burdwan.
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The chief parties in the fray are Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Communist Party of India (Marxist). The polls were marked with violence. At 12 persons died and over 40 injured after 43 clashes ensued between cadres of the contesting parties. Reports of miscreants stopping the voters from exercising their franchise, booth capturing and destroying ballot boxes emerged from several districts.
Following the violent clashes, the State Election Commission ordered repolling in 572 booths. The voting was held on May 14, repolling on Wednesday, May 16. Over 73 per cent of the electorate had turned out to cast their vote, while 68 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the repolls. The SEC had initially earmarked 568 booths for repolls but later increased it to 572 booths.
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 already 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.