Violence across Bengal civic polls; Congress, BJP pull out

Overall, the voting percentage was above the 67 per cent mark, with the three municipalities in the plains that saw the most violence averaging voting of 74 per cent.

Written by Ravik Bhattacharya | Kolkata | Updated: May 15, 2017 7:07 am
west bengal, west bengal municipality election, bengal civic polls, bengal municipality elections, bjp, tmc, bengal violence, congress, left, cpm, india news, west bengal news, indian express Murshidabad : Voter stand in a queue to cast their votes at a polling station during Municipal elections at Domcol in Murshidabad district of West Bengal on Sunday. (PTI Photo)

THE municipal elections in West Bengal were marked by violence on Sunday, with party supporters roaming around with firearms, bombs being hurled at polling booths, voters beaten up and EVMs damaged or snatched from polling personnel. Although there were no reports of death, several persons were injured in the violence.

Mediapersons too were heckled at places, allegedly by ruling Trinamool Congress activists. A joint delegation of the Congress and Left Front that went to meet State Election Commissioner A K Singh was turned away. Singh remained out of bounds throughout the day.

As the violence continued, the Congress announced withdrawal of its candidates from all the 10 wards of Domkol (out of 21) it was contesting, even as polling was midway. The BJP later did the same in Raigunj, after two persons were severely injured following a bomb blast.

In Pujali, irate locals who could not vote clashed with police for “not acting” to check the violence. Half a dozen policemen and locals were injured in the incident.

Overall, the voting percentage was above the 67 per cent mark, with the three municipalities in the plains that saw the most violence — of the seven that went to polls — averaging voting of 74 per cent.

The Congress, BJP and CPM later dubbed polling in Raigunj, Domkol and Pujali, the third municipality that saw violence, as a farce and demanded a repoll. The Trinamool has been feeling the heat from the BJP in the state, with the party’s vote share on steady rise in the state. Ahead of the elections, in a show of strength, the BJP had carried out processions across the state on the occasion of Ram Navami.

In all the three corporations, Domkol (Murshidabad), Pujali (South 24 Parganas) and Raigunj (North Dinajpur), violence began from the second hour of polling. Masked men riding motorbikes were seen brandishing firearms and lobbying crude bombs near a number of polling booths. In over a dozen booths, EVMs were either damaged by miscreants or snatched.

Polling was, however, peaceful in Darjeeling’s four municipalities, with no untoward incident till reports last came in.

Opposition party workers gheraoed the office of the State Election Commission and entered into a scuffle with police when denied entry. They accused the commission of failing to make adequate security arrangements and giving the TMC an upper hand.

Congress state president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said there had been “blatant looting of votes in Domkol, Pujali and Raigunj”. “Voters, candidates and polling agents were threatened and attacked.”

CPM state secretary Dr Suryakanta Mishra said, “It is clear that no polls would be free and fair as long as the Trinamool is in power in the state.” He also announced the launch of “a massive public resistance”, beginning from May 22, 2017, with a march to Nabanna (the Secretariat).

State BJP president Dilip Ghosh said the Trinamool had resorted to “unprecedented violence” due to fear of defeat. “This is a dangerous situation in Bengal. The State Election Commission has become a Mamata Commission.”

The Trinamool put the onus of violence on the Opposition. “It is the opposition parties, the Congress, CPM and BJP, which do not believe in democracy. They tried to disturb peaceful polling in the plains. In Darjeeling, let the results come in, we will see,” said Partha Chatterjee, senior Trinamool leader and Education Minister.

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha secretary Roshan Giri expressed confidence that his party would again win the four municipalities of the Darjeeling hills, despite the TMC dedicating its resources to wrest Darjeeling, Mirik, Kalimpong and Kurseong from it.

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  1. S
    Sourav tiwary
    May 15, 2017 at 3:31 pm
    Modi only do jhumabaji, we can't expect development rather than jhumla
    Reply
    1. V
      Vikas kumar
      May 15, 2017 at 3:28 pm
      RSS man also caught on camera with pistol and crud bomb, from Bihar and up RSS man came here to disturb
      Reply
      1. V
        V.naier
        May 15, 2017 at 3:25 pm
        Atleast they are not tempared evm like bjp... Bjp shame on you
        Reply
        1. S
          S.patel
          May 15, 2017 at 3:23 pm
          India become rapisthan under feku govt... Feku mudi ko lath marke desh se nikalo
          Reply
          1. N
            N K
            May 15, 2017 at 5:22 pm
            Then who do you prefer . Rahul? Pathetic.
            Reply
          2. W
            Wachaspati Pandey
            May 15, 2017 at 10:50 am
            It's obvious West Bengal is new Bihar of 1980s and Mamta Banerjee, an ardent devotee and replica of Lalu Yadav in those days!!
            Reply
            1. R
              rk
              May 15, 2017 at 10:28 am
              Hope the adage "what bengal thinks today,india thinks tomorrow" doesn't hold true in this case...
              Reply
              1. K
                KAPIL DEV
                May 15, 2017 at 9:38 am
                shame on congress , communists alliance trinamool congress headed by BEGUM MAMTA ON PRESIDENT ELECTION .They all are opportunists. ?
                Reply
                1. S
                  Suguna
                  May 15, 2017 at 8:59 am
                  Thanks to Nehru's Congress for chorus in w Bengal, And
                  Reply
                  1. L
                    Last local
                    May 15, 2017 at 8:03 am
                    Bengal has a long history of political violence whether it is ruled by cong, cpim or TMC.... Political mercenaries are the key player of Bengal electoral process...They just change the side for their personal gain and every political party use them to dominate a perticular region...Even Bengal bjp has its won team of mercenaries(some of them are muslims) in Birbhum district ...And they r giving tough fight to tmc...So it's not about religion, cast or ideology it's all about money and power...These mercenaries are neither Isis terrorist nor Ram bhakt ...They are just paid supporters of political parties...So don't mix religion over here ...
                    Reply
                    1. S
                      SUBBU.I
                      May 15, 2017 at 7:11 am
                      ANY DAY TMC,CONGRESS, AND CPM CADRE ARE BETTER THAN RSS AND BJP GOONS.ATLEAST THEY DON'T ROB OTHERS VOTE BY MANUPULATING EVMACHINES. MODI CAN ONLY WIN ELECTIONS THAT WAY. THE THIRD RATE PARTY
                      Reply
                      1. R
                        rk
                        May 15, 2017 at 10:17 am
                        Dear, subbu sir. I have observed that in this forum your are the only wise man.your wisdom is beyond any doubt fact whenever I am bit down, I read your comments and it gives me hope that there are stiil noble soul like you in this univrse who still care for humanity.BUT STILL A DOUBT ERS IN MY MIND REGARDING YOUR BIRTH.I HAVE NO DOUBT THAT A PERSON LIKE YOU WITH SUCH IMMENSE WISDOM CAN ONLY BE CONCIEVED WHEN PERENTS INDULGE IN S O D O M Y.WHEN FAECES MIXES WITH S P E R M, A WISE MAN LIKE YOU TAKES BIRTH.
                        Reply
                        1. R
                          ramu
                          May 16, 2017 at 6:42 am
                          These so called better parties are on the brink of extinction are already declared as endangered category in political circles left parties already have nothing left in them congress and TMc will not believe their eyes and quit one after another in droves
                        2. S
                          SANKAR
                          May 15, 2017 at 10:33 am
                          UNLESS AND UNTIL WASTE MANGEMENT LIKE YOU ARE ALIVE ON THIS EARTH...EVEN GOD CANT DO ANYTHING.....................LICK MAMATAS.....................IT MAY DO GOOD.......
                          Reply
                          1. R
                            Ramesh Nayak
                            May 15, 2017 at 5:02 pm
                            SUBBU YOU ARE VERY RIGHT THANKS FOR YOUR FREE FRANK FEARLESS VIEW
                            Reply
                            1. N
                              N K
                              May 15, 2017 at 5:27 pm
                              ey . Mamta ki mey gus ja. Tum log dudhar nahi sakte. Tabhi bangali doosrey state mey kam karta hain kyonki tumahare jaise log waha koi industry aney nahi denge.
                              Reply
                            2. M
                              Mruthyunjaya
                              May 15, 2017 at 6:51 am
                              The traitor TMC is using all powers to rest in power and complaining that the opposition is responsible. She cannot silence the democracy using money,mussel and violence.She wants to turn Bengal to another Kashmir which can never happen in the land of Subhash Chandra Bose.
                              Reply
                              1. P
                                Pinna
                                May 15, 2017 at 5:44 am
                                In rest of India using pistols, knives etc are common weapons, but Bengal is special. Perhaps their targeting skill is bad so they instead use bombs!!! Wonder, when will they graduate?
                                Reply
                                1. L
                                  Last local
                                  May 15, 2017 at 8:17 am
                                  They use country made bomb Bcz they want less casualties but maximum Chaos... Their main job is booth capturing with minimal casualties...A bomb create more chaoas than a gun shot...
                                  Reply
                                2. V
                                  Vnk
                                  May 15, 2017 at 5:33 am
                                  It is shameful that media supports anti Hindu communal autocratic Mamta in the name of sickularism. Cong and left goondas have no character.
                                  Reply
                                  1. S
                                    Shyamal Ganguly
                                    May 15, 2017 at 4:55 am
                                    Mmumtaz is following the exact foot steps of venerated Communist leader Jyoti (Jootow) Basu. Muslim infiltration and appea t and bomb factories of Muslims and stif public and stea votes through terror - same tactics. And people of Bengal are just like people of Bihar.
                                    Reply
                                    1. T
                                      Tushar
                                      May 15, 2017 at 8:21 am
                                      Where the h Muslim came here from ..😂😂. U are sick and got an out dated rusted mind dude .. In every incident u find a reason of communal division .... And claim to be a nationalist ... Shame on u dude
                                      Reply
                                      1. A
                                        arvind singh
                                        May 15, 2017 at 9:37 am
                                        u musllah spotted
                                    2. V
                                      vish
                                      May 15, 2017 at 3:02 am
                                      All opposition parties Including Sonia,Yechuri and Nitish wants to Join hands with this lady and form opposition coalition ,shame on our selfish Politicians , With Mamta's rule in WB everything is against the law and ashamed that people from WB accept such a CM.
                                      Reply
                                      1. M
                                        Mruthyunjaya
                                        May 15, 2017 at 6:57 am
                                        I fully agree with Vish. It is shameful that the leaders scoop to any level to achieve their selfish goal through political terrorism. Only time will teach them the appropriate lesson to these political terrorists in democracy
                                        Reply
                                      2. K
                                        kris kumar
                                        May 15, 2017 at 1:54 am
                                        Not much difference between Communist or TMC rule in W. Bengal as both use goons and criminals to stay in power. They do not believe in democracy.
                                        Reply
                                        1. K
                                          kris kumar
                                          May 15, 2017 at 1:52 am
                                          Mumtaz the corrupt CM of Bengal is mentally sick and to stay in power she will use goons to keep the opposition at bay. She is a disgraceful woman who had no shame in using goons. She does not know the meaning of democracy. She only believes in destruction, obstruction and abuses at the others. The time has come to kick Mumtaz out of power.
                                          Reply
                                          1. M
                                            MyTake
                                            May 15, 2017 at 1:29 am
                                            By any count West Bengal under "Ma, Mati and M hized didi" is worse than BANGLADESH!
                                            Reply
                                            1. R
                                              ramesh ahuja
                                              May 15, 2017 at 12:00 am
                                              Throw her out of country or hang her.This is need of hour for country.
                                              Reply
                                              1. M
                                                MyTake
                                                May 14, 2017 at 11:38 pm
                                                Second Kashmir in the making. Soon Hindus will be driven out of Bengal and may be some will find its even better to go to Bangladesh, jumping from fry pan to fire, reliving the truth in the saying!
                                                Reply
                                                1. M
                                                  MyTake
                                                  May 14, 2017 at 11:34 pm
                                                  Election should be stopped and fresh date announced! When Tipu Sultan Mullahs support a political party in a die hard way, this is what to be expected!
                                                  Reply
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