WB: Voting begins for single phase Panchayat polls in state

wb voting begins for single phase panchayat polls in state – The News Mill

ANI Photo | WB: Voting begins for single phase Panchayat polls in state

After hectic campaigning and a nomination filing process scarred by violence, polling for panchayats in West Bengal began on Saturday morning under stringent security cover.
While there were reports of violence in the state around the filing of nominations, similar incidents took place thereafter as well.
In the latest flashpoint, just hours ahead of the panchayat polls, a house was vandalised in Murshidabad as the workers of the Trinamool Congress and Congress came to blows on Friday night.
A team from the local police station reached the spot after receiving word of the incident.
In another incident, the home of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate in West Bengal was allegedly attacked by Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers.
The incident took place in the Kalmati area of Bamanhat II Gram Panchayat of Dinhata. The injured are currently being treated at a private hospital in Coochbehar.
Also, police conducted a search operation it received information that crude bombs and weapons have been stockpiled in the South 24 Parganas district.
Police said that they received information about bombs and weapons that had been stockpiled to create disturbance during polling for panchayats in the district.
However, they added that nothing has been found yet.
Just a day ahead of the Panchayat elections war of words escalated in West Bengal amongst Governor CV Ananda Bose, Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) and TMC.
Coming down heavily on the state administration over the prevailing state of affairs in Bengal ahead of the rural polls, West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose said it was ‘depressing’ that people across the state were living in fear.
Voicing concern over the situation on the ground, the Bengal governor told reporters, “It is depressing that people in those (violence-hit) areas are in a state of fear. But now what is important is tomorrow’s election. I think the permanent solution, whether it is violence or corruption, is the black ink on the index finger. That is the symbol of the strength of a common man.”
Exhorting the people to vote their conscience and find the “permanent solution” to everything they are facing, the Governor added, “Everyone should go to the polling booth and express their right to vote according to their conscience. Tomorrow is the day you will find the permanent solution to all things you are facing, including violence. The right to vote is the highest and mightiest right in the world in a democracy.”
“I am doing it for publicity, publicity, publicity alone. To publicise the rights of the common man, to publicise the sanctity of the Constitution, to publicise that the common man will not be suppressed by any political propaganda,” he added.
Responding to the governor’s remarks, senior TMC leader and MLA Madan Mitra said he should be ousted from his post and the state, adding that he was not even a voter of West Bengal.
The Kamarhati TMC MLA further questioned how a sitting governor could urge people to vote for the BJP.
“How can he (Governor CV Ananda Bose) campaign and urge people to vote for BJP and not for TMC? Is he above the law? He should be ousted from Bengal immediately because he is not a voter of our state. He is a voter of Kerala,” Mitra said.
However, the BJP’s West Bengal president, Sukanta Majumdar said the governor met all the victims of violence in the state, regardless of the political affiliations or party memberships, adding that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also holds the constitutional mandate to do the same but did not.
“The governor is visiting violence-hit places and meeting the kin of those, who lost their lives, irrespective of their party affiliations. He visited the family members of TMC victims as well. The CM also has a similar mandate but since she has refrained from visiting the families of victims, irrespective of which party they belong to, the governor is doing it,” Majumdar said.
The panchayat elections will be held in a single phase, with the counting of votes scheduled on July 11.
The polls are likely to see a fierce tussle for control of local administrations between the ruling TMC and the BJP and will be a litmus test for both parties ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha elections

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