After days of sporadic violence across the state, the results of the West Bengal panchayat election, seen as a litmus test for the ruling Trinamool Congress and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, are being declared on Tuesday amid tight security of central forces and the state police.
The counting of votes started at 8am. All counting centres will have a deployment of central forces and CCTV cameras installed.
Top 10 updates on the West Bengal panchayat election results:
1. The TMC secured victory in 14,767 gram panchayat seats in West Bengal, as against the BJP which bagged 3,344 seats, as per the data released by State Election Commission till 4.30 pm on Tuesday. Out of the total of 341 Panchayat Samitis across the state, the TMC was leading in 28, while results of other Panchayat Samitis were awaited.
2. The re-polling, ordered by the state election commission in 696 booths in 19 districts of Bengal following deadly violence and booth-capturing incidents reported during the July 8 voting, was held on Monday with 69.85-per cent of all eligible voters casting their ballots till 5pm.
3. On Monday, four more persons were reported dead, taking the toll of political violence to 42 since June 8, when the three-tier local body polls were announced. Allegations of vote tampering had marred the panchayat elections, forcing the SEC headed by Rajiva Sinha to order a repoll in affected booths in all but three districts of Bengal.
4. The BJP Tuesday slammed the Trinamool Congress government over the “state-sponsored” violence, terming chief minister Mamata Banerjee “ruthless” and claiming at least 45 people have died in the clashes.
5. Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday said 133 people from West Bengal have taken shelter in the state, fearing for their lives because of the panchayat election violence back home. Stating that the people have been provided shelter in a relief camp, the chief minister assured them of “any humanitarian aid during times of crisis”.
6. At least 19 persons were killed and dozens injured on July 8 amid widespread allegations of booth capturing, rigging, looting of ballot boxes, heckling of polling officials, firing and bomb attacks. The number of people that died solely on voting day stands at 17, seven higher than the 12 people that were killed in polling day violence in 2018.
7. On Monday, the repolling started at 7am amid tight security with at least four central forces personnel deployed in each booth, besides state police. Those who were in queues at 5pm in voting booths were allowed to cast their ballot with election officers working overtime to ensure a smooth process.
8. On Tuesday morning, West Bengal governor CV Ananda Bose visited South 24 Parganas district, including Bhangar and Canning, to take stock of the situation. On Monday, governor CV Ananda Bose met Union home minister Amit Shah and apprised him of the violence in West Bengal two days back.
9. The BJP, in a release, said it has nominated a four-member fact-finding committee to visit the violence-affected areas in West Bengal. The panel members include MP and former Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, and MP Dr Satyapal Singh.
10. In 2018, the TMC had won uncontested, 34 per cent of the seats in the panchayat elections. The ruling party has won several seats without contesting this year as well. The opposition had alleged several candidates were stopped from filing nominations by the ruling TMC cadre.