State election commissioner agrees to re-polling in 2 booths after meeting Dhankhar

BJP MLAs Sankar Ghosh, Anandamoy Barman arrested during protest

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Monday requested State Election Commissioner Saurab Das to hold re-election in several places, alleging rigging.

Dhankhar summoned Das to discuss the alleged failure of democracy in conducting the municipal elections held on Sunday. The governor also asked the state election commissioner why the Howrah Municipal elections was not held.

The State Election Commission decided to hold re-election in two booths – ward no. 25 of Srirampur and ward no. 33 of South Dumdum – on Tuesday.

According to sources, the governor asked the commissioner why the opposition candidates were attacked in multiple centres, why so many pictures of EVM vandalism surfaced, and why the common people could not vote.

Voting for 108 municipalities across West Bengal was held on Sunday, during which a clash between Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers broke out. The BJP alleged that ruling party goons attacked the opposition candidates. Journalists were also allegedly attacked while performing duties.

The BJP West Bengal vice-president Arjun Singh alleged that two Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were vandalized in ward no. 9. The BJP had called a 12-hour bandh on Monday against alleged rigging and violence in the state’s civic polls.

BJP MLAs Sankar Ghosh and Anandamoy Barman, along with others, were arrested while they were marching on the streets of Siliguri in support of the bandh. In Murshidabad, a scuffle broke out between the BJP workers and the police in view of the bandh in West Bengal. In Balurghat, West Bengal BJP president Sukanta Majumdar slammed Trinamool Congress for hampering the spirit of democracy. Here also, the BJP workers clashed with police personnel during protests against alleged violence in the civic polls.

Meanwhile, Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury wrote to Speaker Om Birla over alleged incidents of violence during Bengal municipal elections and said that he is “not able to discharge his responsibilities as a Member of Parliament.”

Chowdhury, who is a Congress MP from Berhampore, stated in his letter: “The ruling party has unleashed a reign of terror and violence in the entire municipal election. The ruling party goons are threatening candidates of other political parties with violence.”