Counting of West Bengal Panchayat Polls begins

Kolkata: Counting for the West Bengal Panchayat polls began on Monday. Initial trends putting Trinamool Congress in the lead in most of the districts.

Of the total 58,865 seats going to polls, 6,274 have been won uncontested, a majority by the Trinamool Congress. In all 1.7 lakh candidates are in fray in over 17 districts. Most panchayats and zilla parishads are now under the control of the Left Front.

“Videography and CCTVs have also been arranged in all counting centers to keep a record of the entire process and track any irregularities,” Pandey said.

“No mobile phones are allowed inside the counting centers and generators have been kept as standby arrangement against power failure during counting of votes,” Pandey said.

On the directive of the Supreme Court, the five-phase rural poll in the state was held on July 11, 15, 19, 22 and 25. The Apex Court order had come after the high-voltage tussle between the Mamata Banerjee government and SEC had hit a blind alley as both sides refused to budge on security, with the government insisting on the state armed police and the SEC demanding Central forces for the polls.

Apart from this, dates and phases of polling were also a matter of dispute between the SEC and state government.

At least 24 people were killed during the five phased polls which began July 11, but no untoward incident, according to police, has taken place yet during counting.

However, the CPI-M has alleged that several of its counting agents were forcibly driven out from counting centres allegedly by Trinamool workers.

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