Acting state Election Commissioner Alapan Bandyopadhyay Thursday announced that re-polling would take place in nine booths in Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation and two in Asansol on Friday while the results would be declared the following day.
The announcement came after Bandyopadhyay met with senior district and police officials. The nine polling booths are located in four wards in Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation – wards 9,33, 34 and 41. In Asansol Municipal Corporation, the re-polling has been ordered in two booths – wards 14 and 75.
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Former SEC S R Upadhyay, who in the wake of the violence-marred civic polls resigned Tuesday reportedly under pressure from the political parties, had earlier announced before the media that repolling would be held in some booths on Thursday. His successor, however, declared Wednesday that re-polling would not be held since “my predecessor did not pass any notification” and that he had said it “orally”.
But after “a series of meetings wherein existing evidence was re-examined and re-scrutinised,” Bandyopadhyay announced the re-polling for Friday, and added that, during the meeting, officials “distinguished between violence on the street and vitiation of the poll process”.
“After examining video footage and speaking to the district Superintendents of Police, District Magistrates, Police Commissioners of Commissionerates, Municipal Returning Officers and Presiding Officers, we have decided to hold re-polls at nine places of Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation and two places of Asansol Municipal Corporation,” he said. He added that he had already spoken to the state Home secretary and had requested him that sufficient security arrangements should be made so that no untoward incidents take place on the day of repoll.
Sporadic violence and assaults on journalists on October 3 had marred elections to municipal corporations in West Bengal as over 70 per cent voters exercised their franchise. Besides Bidhannagar and Asansol, polling had taken place in Bally under Howrah Municipal Corporation and Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad.