Over 5 crore to vote in West Bengal panchayat polls amid tight security

first_img Around 70,000 State police personnel along with 80,000 civic volunteers and 1,500 police personnel from Assam, Odisha, Sikkim and Andhra Pradesh will be deployed for the rural polls. According to a senior official of the State Election Commission (SEC), there will be one armed police personnel in each polling booth.About 1.15 lakh candidates are in the fray in the three-tire Panchayat polls.“Barring the uncontested seats at the gram panchayat level, there are 31,789 seats and 92,204 candidates; for the 6119 panchayat samity seats there 20,535 candidates are in the fray; 2872 candidates will compete for 621 zilla parishad seats,” the SEC official said. About 35% of the 58,792 seats in the rural polls are uncontested.The filing of nominations for the Panchayat polls from April 2 to April 9 and then on the extended date on April 23, were marred by violent clashes between cadre of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and workers of Opposition parties resulting in the death of several people.A legal battle was also fought over the rural body polls with Opposition parties approaching both the Calcutta High Court and Supreme Court against the alleged terror tactics of the TMC and the SEC’s inaction.Meanwhile Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the “State administration will leave no stones unturned (to ensure peaceful polls.” She also said the State administration will be “pro-active” to prevent any untoward incidents during the rural polls.Mamata assures peace“State administration is always with the people to ensure peaceful polls and will be pro-active,” said Ms. Banerjee.On the arrest of former Trinamool MLA Arabul Islam for the alleged murder of a villager in South 24 Paraganas, Ms Banerjee said, “Arabul is also one of our zilla parishad candidates. Even then we arrested him regardless of his political affiliation.” SC stays Calcutta High Court order on West Bengal panchayat polls Panchayat elections in West Bengal will be held on Monday across 20 districts amid tight security. About 5.08 crore voters —74% of total electors in the State — will cast their votes.Also Readlast_img

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