The ruling Trinamool Congress is all set for a clean sweep in the three-tier West Bengal panchayat polls, the counting for which began on Thursday morning amid tight security. The party is leading in most of the Gram Panchayat (GP) and Panchayat Samiti (PS) seats.
Out of 31,802 GP seats, TMC has won 4,713 seats and is leading in 2,762 seats till 1 pm. The BJP has emerged second after it won 898 GP seats and leading in 242 seats. Surprisingly, independent candidates won 317 GP seats and leading in 136 seats. The TMC is also at the forefront in most of the PS seats. The counting of total 621 Zilla Parishad seats is expected to begin shortly.
Meanwhile, re-polling at 572 booths across 19 districts in the state took place on Wednesday after opposition parties approached the State Election Commission citing the violence and booth rigging that marred the gram panchayat elections on Monday, which saw a voter turnout of 73 per cent and 14 people being killed across several districts. The re-polling on Wednesday saw a 68 per cent turnout. Read in Bangla
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Green storm in Bengal panchayat elections
As per latest reports, the Trinamool had won or was in the lead in over 80 per cent of the lowest tier Gram Panchayat seats, and over 90 per cent of the middle level Panchayat Samiti seats. In the top tier, Zilla Parishad, the Trinamool almost wiped out the opposition.
TMC emerged victorious in 90 per cent of the seats, says Mamata
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee says TMC has emerged victorious in 90 per cent of the seats. "TMC has emerged victorious in 90% seats despite the opposition parties coming together. This shows how strong we are at the grassroot level," ANI quoted Banerjee as saying. In the 2013 panchayat elections too, TMC had won 90 per cent of the seats, besides all the zilla parishad seats.
State election commission orders re-polling at Jalpaiguri booth
The West Bengal Election Commission has ordered re-polling at part no 79/80 of Fulbari-1 in Jalpaiguri District. Counting agent of BJP candidate Doli Sutradhar had alleged that he was attacked by TMC supporters who also looted ballot papers at the counting room.
Of 621 Zilla Parishad seats, TMC has won 351
Here are the latest updates, according to a news channel. Of 621 Zilla Parishad seats, TMC has won 351, while BJP is leading in 9. The Left and Congress are leading in 2 and 4 seats respectively. Meanwhile, out of the 6,123 panchayat samiti seats that went to polls, TMC has won 2,543 seats and BJP just 162. The Left and Congress have bagged 79 and 67 seats respectively. Coming to gram panchayats, out of 31,802 seats, TMC has won a whopping 21,148 seats and BJP 1,393 seats. The tally for Left and Congress stands at 314 and 219 respectively.
— BJP Bengal (@BJP4Bengal) May 17, 2018
BJP main challenger to TMC in almost all districts except Murshidabad, Malda
Overall, BJP emerged as the main challenger to TMC in gram panchayat in almost every districts except Murshidabad and Malda, the two Congress strongholds. In Murshidabad, TMC has bagged 466 seats, followed by the Congress with 83 seats. The CPI(M) and the BJP have bagged 48 and 24 seats respectively in the district, SEC said.
TMC has won/leading in 89 per cent of gram sabha seats
Out of the 31,836 gram sabha seat that went to polls, here are the results for 29,634 seats till 4 pm. As expected, TMC has won/leading in 26,601 seats, which forms about 89 per cent of the total seats. BJP has won 6.85 per cent of the seats, while Left and Congress have just 1.38 per cent and 1.06 per cent of the seats in their kitty.
TMC has won 20 zilla parishad seats
TMC has so far won 20 zilla parishad seats and is leading in 239 seats. No opposition party has so far won a single zilla parishad seat. Elections were held in 621 Zilla Parishad seats. In pictures | TMC supporters celebrate sweeping victory
SEC has turned deaf ear to reports of violence, says BJP leader Samik Bhattacharya
Addressing a press conference, BJP leader Samik Bhattacharya said SEC had been informed about the repeated incidents of violence but it fell in deaf ears. Bhattacharya further said that in these circumstances, where alleged TMC workers are disrupting counting of votes in several districts, it was difficult to hold free and fair elections. 'People are ready to vote against TMC if get a chance to vote in a smooth, peaceful election,' the BJP leader said. He also alleged that BJP winning candidates were being threatened and women workers were being locked up in offices.
TMC workers rejoice in Kolkata. (Express photo by Partha Pal)
It is a good trend, people are with us, says Partha Chatterjee
Even though TMC took early leads in the West Bengal panchayat elections, party's Secretary General Partha Chatterjee expressed caution. 'It is a good trend for us. We have said before that the people are with us. But I think it too early to comment as the counting for Panchayat Samiti seats are yet to be done,' Chatterjee told IANS. In West Bengal's Bhangar, that has been on the boil over the construction of a power grid sub-station by the state government over the last one year, the Independent candidates backed by Jomi-Jibika-Bastutantra O Poribesh Rokkha Committee (Committee for protecting life, livelihood, ecology and environment) won gram panchayat seats, wherever voting took place. The Panchayat Samiti was, however, won by the ruling party.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee outside her house in Kolkata on Thursday. (Express photo by Sashi Ghosh)
TMC wins panchayat samiti seat in Babul Supriyo's Lok Sabha constituency
TMC wins Ranigunj Panchayat Samiti seat in Paschim Burdwan district. Interestingly, Ranigunj falls under BJP minister Babul Supriyo's Lok Sabha constituency. TMC is leading in 32 seats in Hooghly district and has won the seat of Raghunathpur.
Alleged TMC miscreants storm counting centre in Nadia, put proxy votes
Meanwhile, in an unprecedented incident, miscreants allegedly backed by Trinamool Congress were seen putting proxy votes inside a counting centre in full view of polling officials and police. The incident took place in Nadia District. Sudhir Chandra Lal Memorial College in Majhdia town was the venue of a counting centre of Krishnagunj block in Nadia. As counting progressed, it was seen that independent candidates backed by opposition parties was leading in several places, including in 102 booth of Shibnivas Gram Panchayat seat. Around noon, a group of miscreants, allegedly TMC workers, barged in the counting centre. They first drove out the election agents of opposition parties. Then they along with counting agents allegedly of the ruling party started giving proxy votes, by stamping the ballot papers.
Hakimul, son of TMC leader Arabul Islam, wins from Bhangar
In South 24 Parganas, Hakimul, son of TMC leader Arabul Islam, who was recently arrested in connection with the murder of Independent candidate Hafizul Mollah, has won in Bhangar. Earlier in the day, Arabul was declared winner in South 24 Parganas district.
Independent candidate Niladri Sukul accuses TMC of violence
Independent candidate Niladri Sukul said, "I was ahead of the TMC candidate by 220 votes. A group of TMC miscreants started thrashing me and drove me out of the counting centre. While I was pushed out, I saw them casting false votes. All this happened in booth number 101 in Nadia."
TMC celebrations continue
TMC workers celebrate with green colour on Thursday. (IE Photo)
CPM protest in Kolkata
In Kakdwip (South 24 Parganas), protests erupted in Kolkata after police refused to hand over the bodies of two CPM activists to their families. CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty was also attacked, sources said.
BJP shares video of 'TMC' workers disrupting counting of votes
State BJP took to Twitter to share a video of a group of alleged TMC workers capturing a counting centre in Nadia.
TMC killing democracy like BJP: Yechury
CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury also slammed the Bengal government for interrupting re-polling on Wednesday. "The true face of TMC. This is how brazen they are even during a repoll. BJP is killing democracy, and so is the TMC," he tweeted.
BJP's Sambit Patra hits out at CM Mamata Banerjee over poll violence
On Wednesday, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra hit out at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over the incidents of violence that took place on polling day. While referring to an instance where the presiding officer of Raiganj was reportedly abducted and murdered, he said, "And the saviour of Democracy in Bengal,Mamata Banerjee, was crying foul of Democracy being murdered in Karnataka! What’s happening in Bengal is unbelievable I pray for the deceased in the tweet..extremely sad indeed!"
And the saviour of Democracy in Bengal,Mamata Banerjee, was crying foul of Democracy being murdered in Karnataka!— Sambit Patra (@sambitswaraj) May 16, 2018
What’s happening in Bengal is unbelievable
I pray for the deceased in the tweet 🙏 ..extremely sad indeed! https://t.co/CBHbFkAtLp
TMC workers celebrate in Uluberia
TMC women workers celebrate with colours in Howrah's Uluberia on Thursday. (Photo: IE Bangla)
TMC leader Arabul Islam wins in Bhangar, Dudhkumar Mandal in Birbhum
TMC leader Arabul Islam, who was recently arrested in connection with the murder of Independent candidate Hafizul Mollah, has won from Bhangar in South 24 Parganas district. Mollah was shot in his face during a rally in Bhangar on May 11. In Birbhum, TMC's Dudhkumar Mandal.
Five land agitators, who filed nomination via WhatsApp, win in South 23 Parganas
Five of the eight land agitators, who had filed their nomination via WhatsApp, have won the Polerhat II gram panchayat seats in South 24 Parganas. The agitators had claimed that they were being prevented from reaching the office designated for the purpose by armed hooligans. The candidates had sent photos of their filled up nomination papers to the authorities concerned through WhatsApp, claiming that they were manhandled and that their papers were snatched at the Alipore Survey Building, petitioner Sharmistha Chowdhury had said.
Visuals from East Bardhaman
Counting of votes underway in East Bardhaman's Galsi Mahavidyalaya. (Photo: IE Bangla)
Chaos continues in Dhaneswarpur
According to sources, TMC workers continue to disrupt the polling process in West Midnapore's Dhaneswarpur area.
TMC celebrations in Barrackpore
TMC workers celebrate the party's results in Barrackpore's Panpur area on Thursday. (Photo: IE Bangla)
Counting interrupted in West Midnapore's Dhaneswarpur
According to sources, TMC workers have reportedly interrupted the polling process in West Midnapore's Dhaneswarpur area.
Gram panchayat poll results at 11 am
The following are the results at 11.00 am: TMC - 4,509, Left - 281, Congress 137, BJP - 361, Others - 51.
Gram panchayat results at 10.30 am
At 10.30 am, gram panchayat election results show that TMC is leading in 1,613 seats, followed by BJP who is leading in 179 seats. The Congress is leading in 43 seats while the Left is leading in 12 seats.
40 mobile phones found in Jalpaiguri counting centre
TMC leading in Purulia
According to sources, TMC is currently leading in Purulia district. Here, exit polls have predicted that out of 20 panchayat samiti seats, TMC will win 13 seats, BJP will bag two seats and Congress three seats. In Zilla Parishad, TMC is set to win 28 out of 38 seats.
What happened in the 2013 panchayat elections?
Currently, the TMC controls 90 per cent of the Panchayat seats, apart from all the Zilla Parishads of the state. In the 2013 panchayat elections, BJP received a meagre three per cent vote after fielding only 9,000 candidates.
What have the exit polls predicted?
According to exit poll by News18, there will be a “Green storm” in Bengal. It predicted that TMC will win all 26 panchayat samiti seats in Murshidabad. In Birbhum too, exit polls have predicted a clean sweep for TMC in 19 panchayat samiti seats. It has already won all the 42 zilla parishad seats uncontested.
In Nadia, BJP is predicted to win three panchayat samiti seats, while the rest 15 may go to TMC. Among the 47 zilla parishad seats in Nadia, TMC is set to bag 40 seats, the exit polls predicted. In Purulia, exit polls have predicted that out of 20 panchayat samiti seats, TMC will win 13 seats, BJP will bag two seats and Congress three seats. In Zilla Parishad, TMC is set to win 28 out of 38 seats in Purulia.
MHA seeks second report from state government on poll violence
On Wednesday, the Union home ministry asked the West Bengal government to provide a second detailed report on the violence during the polls after it found the initial report sent by the Mamata Banerjee-led government “sketchy”. The state government was directed to provide details on the circumstances leading to the violence and the steps taken to restore peace and punish those involved.
Re-polling in 568 panchayat booths
Re-polling was held at 568 panchayat booths across 19 districts on Wednesday after opposition parties approached the State Election Commission citing the violence and booth rigging that marred the polling process on Monday. The re-polling on Wednesday saw a 68 per cent turnout.
Counting of votes begin in most districts
When will the counting of votes start?
The counting of votes for gram panchayat elections is expected to begin at 8 am. Since the elections took place through ballot papers and not EVMs, the counting of votes will be a tardy process and the final result can be expected only by late evening.