Oppn allege widespread fraud in 4 municipal corporations polls in WB

BJP, Left demand re-polling at Bidhannagar

Elections to four municipal corporations in West Bengal were held on Saturday amidst allegations of electoral malpractices and violence by the Opposition parties.

The Opposition parties alleged that supporters of Trinamool Congress opened fire at Jamuria under Asansol Municipal Corporation. A BJP candidate suffered head injuries at ward number 17 of Asansol Municipal Corporation and alleged that he was attacked when he tried to stop malpracticesduring polling.

Elections to four municipal corporations at Asansol, Bidhannagar, Siliguri and Chandernagore were held on Saturday.Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation, located on the north-eastern fringes ofKolkata witnessed several instances of electoral irregularities.Dummy or false voters were seen hiding inside toilets of poll premises and were chased out by television channel crews at Bidhannagar. There were allegations by BJP candidates that their houses were attacked by supporters of ruling party. Candidates contesting civic polls at Bidhhanagar were seen coming face to face and at one instance a journalist suffered injuries outside polling booth. In some instances, people with no valid documents were seenloitering outside polling booth.

By the evening, both BJP and Left parties demanded re-polling at Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation.Elections to Siliguri Municipal Corporation in Darjeeling district and Chandernagore Municipal Corporation in Hooghly district was relatively peaceful.The Trinamool Congress leadership said the polling were peaceful while the BJP and Left leadership said that polls were far from free and fair.

72 % turnout till 5 p.m.

West Bengal State Election Commission officials said 72% voters exercised their franchise till 5 p.m.The Commission said polling has been peaceful and it has taken note of the some incidents. Several persons were arrestedfrom Asansol and BidhannagarMunicipal Corporation.

The developments on Saturday, raised questions on preparedness of the West Bengal State Election Commission on holding civic polls in the State.Despite the Opposition parties seeking the deployment of central forces and approaching the Courts, polls were held with the deployment of State police. The Calcutta High Court had put its faith on the West Bengal State Election Commission for the deployment of forces. Elections to 108 civic bodies across 20 districts in the State are scheduled on February 27. The Trinamool Congress has already won three municipalities without contest as Opposition failed to put candidates.

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