Home INDIA & BEYOND INDIA Bengal poll panel takes U-turn, calls civic polls violence-free

Bengal poll panel takes U-turn, calls civic polls violence-free


Kolkata, April 19:

A day after expressing displeasure over the conduct of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation polls, the West Bengal State Election Commission on Sunday did a volte-face claiming there were no major law and order disruptions during the exercise.

Election Commission of India Facing a plethora of complaints regarding unfair practices, State Election Commissioner S.R. Upadhyay on Saturday said: “Ideally, if the polling is conducted properly, you don’t get so much of complaints.”

However, on Sunday he gave a contrary view.

“Given the statistics, I can say that by and large there had not been any major instance of violence reported,” Upadhyay told mediapersons here.

Reminded by the media of his earlier view, Upadhyay reiterated that “there was no major instance of violence during the polls”.

“We have got complaints regarding booth capturing, booth jamming, false voting and voter intimidation,” he had said hours after the ruling Trinamool Congress claimed the polls were “free, fair and peaceful”.

Upadhyay also said the commission was yet to take a decision on the complaints seeking re-polling in a number of booths.

“We have received 19 complaints from by different political parties demanding re-poll in 26 different wards. We are in the process of verifying and analysing them. After that, we will take a decision on when to, if at all, conduct a re-poll and in which wards,” said Upadhyay.

The poll panel chief also assured of peaceful conduct of polls to 91 municipalities across the state on April 25.

Alleging widespread violence and strong arm tactics by the Trinamool, the opposition Left Front, the Congress and the BJP have all called the polls to 144 ward city civic body a “farce”.

However, Trinamool chief and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claimed that the polls were peaceful like never before. (IANS)