WB Panchayat Polls: High Security For ‘Counting’ Day


Kolkata: West Bengal authorities beef up security for the counting day of panchayat polls. Amid fear of violence, counting for the West Bengal panchayat election 2018 began at 8 am on Thursday.

The Panchayat polls which has gained notoriety for the violence that accompanied it right from the nomination-filing stage and continued through the polling process, does not look set to end well either.

As many as 294 counting observers has been deployed in West Bengal for the vote count of the state assembly polls on May 19. The Chief electoral officer Sunil Gupta after a review meeting with district magistrates on preparedness ahead of counting, said one counting observer is deployed in each constituency. They have arrived on May 17.

They will inspect counting venues in each district as 90 counting centres and 394 counting halls across the state.As for security, Gupta said a three-tier arrangement will be ensured in each venue. “In the first tier (outermost), district police is deployed.

In the second one, armed police while the third one which is right outside the counting hall, will be manned by central armed police personnel,” he said.This is supposed to have checked the occurrence of major violent incidents witnessed during poll day earlier.

In one incident ballot boxes were lifted and carried out of a polling booth on gun point. In another, a polling booth was found to be completely deserted, devoid not just of voters but also election workers.Reacting to the violence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called the election a “murder of democracy”, a charge dismissed by the ruling Trinamool Congress. T

The State Election Commission has banned victory rallies by supporters of political parties until all results are announced. The counting is taking place at multiple centres. The state administration has imposed prohibitory orders within a 200 metre radius around counting centres.