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HomeNationTMC dominates Bengal rural polls by bagging over 12,518 seats, maintains strong...

TMC dominates Bengal rural polls by bagging over 12,518 seats, maintains strong lead

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tmc, panchayat polls, west bengal, bengal

According to the latest declarations by the State Election Commission, the TMC has won in 12,518 gram panchayat seats and is leading in 3,620 seats. Its nearest rival BJP has won in 2,781 seats and is leading in 915 seats out of 63,229 seats as of 3.30 pm.

The Left Front has won in 959 seats out of which the CPI(M) alone has won in 910 seats. The party is curently leading in 550 seats. The Congress won 625 seats and is leading in 276.

Other parties which included the newly formed ISF won 219 seats and led in 70 seats, while independents which included TMC rebels won 718 seats and led in 216 seats. Counting of votes for the three-tier panchayat polls to nearly 74,000 seats which besides the gram panchayat seats, also includes 9,730 panchayat samiti seats and 928 zilla parishad seats, began at 8 am on Tuesday peacefully amid tight security, officials said.

There are around 339 counting venues spread across 22 districts. The maximum number of counting centres is in South 24 Parganas at 28, while the minimum is in Kalimpong at four. Some northern districts are also facing inclement weather.

”Counting began at 8 am and is likely continue for the next two days. It will take time for the ballots to be counted and the results to be compiled,” an SEC official said.

In Darjeeling hills, out of the 598 seats in Darjeeling and 281 in Kalimpong, the BGPM was leading in 21, whereas the BJP was head in one, and the independents were leading in four.

All the counting venues are manned by armed state police personnel and central forces, with prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC being imposed outside the venue to avoid any untoward incidents. There are a total of 767 strong rooms across 22 districts.

Large crowds of supporters of various candidates gathered at various centres to ensure that counting was conducted correctly.

In various districts, TMC supporters celebrated their victory by dancing and smearing each other with green gulal.

As initial trends started pouring in, a war of words broke out between the TMC and the BJP, with the latter accusing the ruling party of ”making last desperate attempts to loot votes by blocking opposition agents from entering counting centres.” ”TMC goons are making desperate attempt to steal the elections by obstructing the counting agents and candidates of the BJP and other opposition political parties from entering counting centres. They are being restricted from going towards the venue, and bombs are being hurled to intimidate counting agents,” leader of the Opposition, Suvendu Adhikari, said.

Refuting the allegations, TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said, ”sensing defeat, they are making baseless allegations.” ”Rejected by people and sensing humiliating defeat, this is BJP’s last attempt to come up with lame excuses to make up for its own organisational failures,” he said.

Violence had rocked West Bengal’s rural polls on Saturday, leaving 15 people dead while ballot boxes were vandalised, ballot papers torched, and bombs thrown at rivals in several places.

Of those killed, 11 were affiliated with the TMC. The total death toll in the state since the poll process began on June 8, when the dates were announced, has crossed 30.

A voter turnout of 80.71 per cent was recorded on Saturday, whereas a vote percentage of 69.85 was recorded till 5 pm in 696 booths across West Bengal, where re polling was held on Monday.

The decision for re polling was taken after reviewing reports of violence and tampering with ballot boxes and ballot papers on Saturday.

A total of 5.67 crore people living in the state’s rural areas were eligible to decide the fate of 2.06 lakh candidates in 73,887 seats of the panchayat system.

Saturday’s violence was in keeping with the state’s history of violent rural elections, including the 2003 panchayat polls, which gained notoriety for its cumulative death toll of 76 during the poll process, with nearly 40 killed on the day of polling.

This year, with more than 30 killed since polls were announced earlier last month, the toll remained almost equal to that of the previous panchayat elections in 2018.

However, this time, the Opposition had fielded candidates in more than 90 per cent of seats, unlike in 2018 rural polls, when the ruling TMC had won 34 per cent of the seats uncontested.

In the 2018 rural polls, the ruling TMC had emerged victorious in 90 per cent of the panchayat seats and all the 22 zilla parishads. The elections were marred by widespread violence, with the Opposition alleging they were prevented from filing nominations in several seats.

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