TMC sees Governor ‘prod’ behind suspension of counting
The EC said that the commission will hear the allegation of the Opposition candidates and will examine the CCTV footages and media reports. The <g data-gr-id="48">Commission however</g> ruled out a re-election and said no such decision has been discussed.
While the opposition parties have alleged that <g data-gr-id="62">large number</g> of outsiders had been brought in to intimidate and scare off genuine voters, the ruling Trinamool Congress has denied any such activity by the party.
The announcement came after West Bengal BJP president Rahul Sinha met the EC and reported to media that the counting has been suspended. The counting scheduled to be held on October 7 has been cancelled till further notice.
On the other hand counting of Panchayat by-polls of Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad will be held as per schedule.
The polls in Bidhannagar and Asansol are considered important as these are the last key elections in the state before it goes to Assembly polls next year. The Trinamool Congress on Sunday “blamed” the CPI(M) for violence during Saturday’s election to Bidhannagar and Asansol municipalities in West Bengal in a counter to the opposition parties’ demand for re-election to the two civic bodies alleging <g data-gr-id="53">loot</g> of votes by the ruling party.
“The CPI(M) is responsible for the violence, it was a planned attack by it owing to desperation as it knows that it will be defeated in the elections,” senior TMC leader and state Panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee said on Sunday.
Alleging that CPI(M) leader Gautam Deb, a former minister, had threatened to bring in four to five thousand outsiders for the polls held in Bidhannagar, Mukherjee said, “It is the CPI(M) which instigated violence.”
Echoing Mukherjee, TMC <g data-gr-id="50">secretary-general</g> Partha Chatterjee also blamed the CPI(M) for Saturday’s violence at Bidhannagar and Asansol.
The opposition parties alleged that a large number of outsiders had been brought in by the TMC to scare off genuine voters. The opposition parties demanded re-election to both Bidhannagar and Asansol municipal corporations, alleging that votes were looted amid violence, turning on Saturday’s polls into a ‘farce’.
“The whole election process has been rendered a farce. The State Election Commission has the responsibility to hold the election in free and fair manner, but it has failed in its duty,” Salim said.
He also demanded re-election at Bally under Howrah Municipal Corporation.
State BJP president Rahul Sinha demanded that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee give up her Home (Police) portfolio, alleging that the state police force had not acted to ensure peace and fair elections.
Demanding re-election in all booths of Bidhannagar and most booths in Asansol, Sinha <g data-gr-id="64">said</g> “votes were looted in all booths with the ruling party unleashing terror among genuine voters,” he said.
The polls in these two municipal corporations are considered significant for being the last key
elections in the state before it goes to Assembly polls next year. A number of journalists covering the elections were also manhandled and a few of them had to be hospitalised.
Leaders of both opposition and the ruling party visited the injured journalists in hospitals this morning.