Opposition Demands Municipal Re-Poll in Bengal

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Kolkata: Terming the Saturday’s municipal elections a ‘farce’, opposition parties in West Bengal demanded a re-election in both Bidhannagar and Asansol municipal corporations.

“We want a total repoll in all booths in both Bidhannagar and Asansol corporations in view of the rampant corrupt practices and violence,” CPI(M) politburo member Mohd Salim said in Kolkata.

“The whole election process has been rendered a farce. The State Election Commission has the responsibility to hold the election in free and fair manner, but it has failed in its duty,” Salim said.

He also demanded re-election at Bally under Howrah Municipal Corporation.

“The Left Front will sit together and decide on the next course of action,” he said when asked what the Front would do if the SEC turned down its demand for holding fresh polls.

State BJP president Rahul Sinha also demanded re-election in all booths of Bidhannagar and most booths in Asansol.

“Votes were looted in all booths with the ruling party unleashing terror among genuine voters,” he said.

The polls in these two municipal corporations are considered important as these are the last key elections in the state before it goes to Assembly polls next year.

While the opposition parties have alleged that large number of outsiders had been brought in to intimidate and scare off genuine voters, the ruling Trinamool Congress has denied any such activity by the party.

“As the ruling party we will never want any breach of peace,” Partha Chatterjee, TMC secretary-general, has said and accused CPI(M) of trying to create disturbances during the polls.

A number of journalists covering the elections were also manhandled and a few of them had to be hospitalised.

Leaders of both opposition and the ruling party visited the injured journalists in hospitals this morning.

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