The West Bengal state Election Commission (SEC) on Tuesday ordered re-polling at 568 panchayat polling booths across 19 districts in the state.
Opposition parties had demanded re-polling at over 500 booths following the deaths of at least 14 people in violence during the polls on Monday. The SEC decision comes after a post-poll scrutiny of reports of political violence that marred the polling across the state.
Officials said the SEC carefully examined the reports before deciding that re-polling should be held at 568 booths.
An SEC officer said re-polling would be held at booths, where rigging, ballot box looting and false voting were reported…We have directed the district administrations to make preparations for the re-polling.”
SEC sources said the re-polling would be held at 73 booths in North Dinajpur district, 63 in Murshidabad, 60 in Nadia, 59 in North 24 Parganas, 55 in Malda and 52 in Cooch Behar. In South 24 Parganas, East Midnapore and South Dinajpur districts, re-polling will be held at 26, 23 and 35 booths, respectively. There will be no re-polling in Jhargram district. The counting of votes will be held on May 17.
Meanwhile, several candidates met SEC officials and demanded re-polling in their booths. “I have come here to inform the SEC about violence in my locality. Free and fair election did not take place,” said Etajul, an Independent candidate from Bhangar in South 24 Parganas district. Candidates from political parties also met the SEC officials to request repolling in their seats. — with pti.