Violence Over WB Panchayat Polls Unprecedented: Harsh Vardhan


New Delhi: Union Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Wednesday that the violence in the run-up to the panchayat polls in West Bengal was “unprecedented in the history of Indian elections.”

The Minister for Science and Technology alleged that the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) was responsible for the clashes. “I think it (violence over nomination filing) is the most unfortunate and unprecedented incident in the history of Indian elections. One has not seen such highly sophisticated rigging before the commencement of the polls,” Vardhan told reporters on the sidelines of an event at Indian Museum here.

Clashes between political parties over filing of nominations for the panchayat polls have rocked the state over the past two months. The opposition parties have alleged that their candidates were not being allowed to file papers by the members of the TMC.

Claiming that the TMC was “fooling the people of West Bengal”, Vardhan plugged the BJP as the only alternative to the ruling party in the state. “It’s time Bengal started realising that there is one alternative for them – the BJP. It will ensure better days ahead for them,” the senior BJP leader said. The West Bengal panchayat election will be held in a single phase on May 14. The results will be declared on May 17.