Low turnout but peaceful civic polls in Darjeeling

Low turnout but peaceful civic polls in Darjeeling

Siliguri: Civic polls passed off peacefully in the hill town of Darjeeling with no untoward incidents reported. However, not much enthusiasm could be seen revolving around the polls with a low voter turnout. The polling percentage stood at 53.79 per cent.

In the last civic polls in 2017, the poll percentage was 59.9 per cent. On Sunday from the time of commencement, throughout the day, polling percentage registered a low trend. Till 9 am 9.73 per cent votes had been cast. At 11 am polling percentage stood at 23.17 per cent; at 1 pm 36.43 per cent and at 3 pm 46.33 per cent. Polling ended at 5pm with a percentage of 53.79 per cent.

The environment was cordial with all political parties unanimously hailing the peaceful and incident free polls. With high probability of no single party getting an absolute majority, most political parties are eyeing post poll alliances.

"We are ready to form the board with any like-minded party," stated Binoy Tamang of the Trinamool Congress. He also lauded the way in which polls passed off peacefully. The TMC and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) have a alliance with TMC having fielded candidates in 10 ward and GJM in the remaining 22 wards.

Ajoy Edward of Hamro Party hailed the peace and appealed for continued peace, post polls. "It is like a football match that ends today. Let's take it sportingly whichever party wins should work for everyone and not single out the people who voted for them."

"This is the democratic and peaceful atmosphere that we have been striving for. Much has been achieved. If we form the board we will work for all round development in unison with the state government," stated Anit Thapa, President of Bharatiya Gorkha Prajatantrik Morcha (BGPM.)

Towing the Gorkhaland line without naming it, Mann Ghising, President, GNLF, an ally of the BJP stated: "If we form the board it will help the greater cause." While BJP had fielded candidates in 9 wards, GNLF had fielded candidates in 24. 32 wards of the Darjeeling municipality went to polls on Sunday with 65398 voters. There were 82 polling stations. 148 candidates took part in the fray, including 71 female contestants. There were 8 Independent candidates also.

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