Prime Minister Modi accuses Trinamool Congress of orchestrating violence during West Bengal Panchayat polls, alleging threats, booth capturing, and goon involvement. TMC denies allegations, unrest mars voting day.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a scathing attack on the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress party over the recent violence during Panchayat polls in West Bengal. Speaking via videoconferencing at the Kshetriya Panchayati Raj Parishad in West Bengal, PM Modi accused the ruling party of orchestrating a “khooni khel” (bloody game) and using intimidation tactics to suppress opposition.
The Prime Minister alleged that the Trinamool Congress engaged in tactics to prevent BJP candidates from filing nominations. He asserted that the party not only targeted BJP workers but also threatened voters, creating a hostile environment. PM Modi claimed that contracts were handed out to capture polling booths, describing this as the party’s unique way of conducting politics in the state.
“They do anything required to ensure that no BJP candidate can file nomination…they not only threaten BJP workers but also the voters. Contracts are given out to capture booths…This is their way of doing politics in the state,” the prime minister said.
He went on to claim that the Trinamool Congress had enlisted the help of goons and provided them with contracts to capture polling booths on the day of vote counting. PM Modi revealed that despite these efforts, BJP emerged victorious. In response, the Trinamool Congress organized rallies against BJP members.
Panchayat elections in West Bengal occurred on July 8, with vote counting for 63,229 Gram Panchayat seats taking place on July 11. The Trinamool Congress secured victory in 28,985 seats, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 7,764 seats. The Congress party secured 2,022 seats. The State Election Commission reported that TMC was leading on 1,540 panchayat seats, and BJP was leading on 417.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) clinched victory in 2,409 seats and was leading in 260. Other parties won 725 seats and led on 23, while independent candidates, including TMC rebels, secured 1,656 seats and maintained a lead in 104 seats.
However, the voting day was marred by widespread violence and irregularities. Instances of ballot paper looting, booth capturing, ballot box damage, and assault on presiding officers were reported from various districts, including Murshidabad, Cooch Behar, Malda, South 24 Parganas, North Dinajpur, and Nadia. Reports also emerged of ballot boxes being set on fire and clashes between political parties in different locations.