West Bengal panchayat polls: 73% voter turnout registered amid clashes

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: May 14, 2018, 10:22 PM IST
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West Bengal panchayat polls Photograph:(ANI)

West Bengal registered a total voter turnout of 73 per cent on Monday amid widespread violence during the panchayat polls.

However, the voting per cent may go up as many voters were still waiting to cast their votes.

The violence that erupted during the polls claimed the lives of eight people while injuring 43 others.

The areas affected by the violence were North and South 24 Parganas, East Midnapore, Burdwan, Nadia, Murshidabad and South Dinajpur districts.

The clashes erupted between the members of Trinamool Congress and opposition members. The protesters attacked the supporters of opposition parties and even targetted the booths with crude bombs.

The violence in the state broke out despite the deployment of over 60,000 security personnel.

The opposition parties accused the ruling Trinamool Congress of conducting a reign of terror and destroying democracy.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said, "First they didn't allow people to file nominations. Second after filing nominations, TMC started threatening the candidates to withdraw. The people who didn't withdraw were attacked. This is nothing but a complete destruction of democratic process,".

The TMC, on the other hand, responded to the opposition claims by saying that the violence caused this year was far less compared to the previous rule of the left. 

Derek O'Brien said on Twitter " To all 'newborn' experts on Bengal #PanchayatElections in State have a history. 400 killed in poll violence in 1990s in CPIM rule. 2003: 40 dead.Every death is a tragedy. Now closer to normal than earlier times.Yes, few dozen incidents. Say,40 out of 58000 booths. What's %age ?"