Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday attacked the Mamata Banerjee government over violence in the panchayat polls in West Bengal, the state's ruling Trinamool Congress called it "outbursts of frustration". Amrito Saha, relative of a Trinamool Congress candidate in Raigunj, was shot dead inside a polling booth, it said. The voting was held on May 14, repolling on Wednesday, May 16.
Colleagues of the deceased alleged that Rajkumar Ray, who was acting as a presiding officer at a booth in Raiganj, was on Monday evening abducted by unknown miscreants trying to rig the polls. "The counting will take place tomorrow (on May 17)", an SEC official said. 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.
An administrative source pointed out that these were the districts that had reported the maximum complaints of malpractice and violation within a few hours of polling on Monday.
"The re-polling is being held in 568 panchayat election booths spread across 20 districts of the state", an official said.
Following the violent clashes, the State Election Commission ordered repolling in 572 booths. Voters began queuing up outside booths since the repolling began at 7 am.
An official said the observers and the poll officials had also wanted to limit fresh voting, apprehending violence during the re-polling.
"Ballot boxes were found in a pond".
Surajit Kar Purkayastha, director general of police in West Bengal, said the administration had made adequate arrangements to pre-empt violence during polling, adding that the scale of violence witnessed on Monday was much smaller than in previous panchayat elections.
"It was a tough task for the officials to get her approval".