Peaceful panchayat polls in West Bengal

May 11th, 2008 - 3:50 pm ICT by admin  

Kolkata, May 11 (IANS) Panchayat polls in five districts of West Bengal Sunday generally remained incident-free, reports received here till early afternoon said. “The five districts - Purulia, West and East Midnapore, Bardhaman and Bankura - are having peaceful polls. Minor political conflicts across the districts were reported, but no incidents of major violence,” police inspector general (West Bengal) Raj Kanojia told IANS.

Police sources said reports of conflicts came in from East Midnapore and Bardhaman.

“In a village at Kanthi (a Contai subdivision in East Midnapore), the Trinamool Congress alleged that Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) supporters chopped off the finger of a supporter and injured five Trinamool members. On the other hand, at Hijlana village in Bardhaman a youth suffered knife injuries, which the CPI-M blamed on Trinamool Congress. They claimed the youth was a Left supporter,” a source said.

The opposition alliance has accused the CPI-M of bringing supporters from Kolkata and jamming the polling booth at Dubrajdighi village in Bardhaman.

Polling in Monteswari village of Bardhaman was stopped for an hour in the morning after printing mistakes were detected in the ballot paper.

According to state election commission sources, till 12.30 p.m. 25 percent votes had been cast in Purulia, 30 percent in West Midnapore, 30 percent in East Midnapore, 40 percent in Bardhaman, and 35 percent in Bankura.

The three-phase panchayat elections in West Bengal are scheduled May 11, 14 and 18. Counting would be taken up May 21.

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