The West Bengal Panchayat polls, meant to be a democratic process showcasing political contest, have instead been overshadowed by rampant violence. Since the announcement of rural elections in Bengal, the state has witnessed a series of violent clashes, murders, and other disturbing incidents. Political events such as the Trinamool Congress (TMC), Bharatiya Janata occasion (BJP), Congress, and Communist social gathering of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) are blaming each and every other for the deteriorating main issue. The occurrence of ballot boxes being set ablaze and bombs being hurled has gone viral on social media platforms. This article provides an overview of the disturbing events that have unfolded during the West Bengal Panchayat polls.
Table of Contents
Election Day Violence Claims Lives:
As voting was underway, West Bengal witnessed a wave of violence, leading to the deaths of eleven individuals. Among the many victims were 5 TMC individuals, one BJP employee, one CPI(M) worker, one Congress worker, and a supporter of an impartial candidate. Violent clashes left several people injured, while ballot boxes were destroyed in two polling booths.
Political Parties Blame Each Other:
The TMC claimed that three of its party workers were murdered in Rejinagar, Tufanganj, and Khargram, with two others sustaining gunshot wounds in Domkol. West Bengal minister Shashi Panja accused the BJP, CPI(M), and Congress of colluding and demanded the deployment of central forces. However, the absence of adequate security measures raised concerns.
Governor’s Plea for Peaceful Elections:
West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose emphasized the significance of democratic elections and condemned the violence. He expressed his distress after witnessing numerous murders, people being prevented from reaching polling booths, and the general atmosphere of fear. Bose emphasized the need for peaceful elections conducted through ballots, not bullets.
BJP Candidate and Polling Agent Attacked:
A BJP candidate alleged that she was attacked by hooligans during the panchayat polls, while her polling agent lost his life in the assault on a booth in Cooch Behar. The candidate, Maya Burman, accused the Trinamool Congress of orchestrating the attacks, stating that TMC goons threw a bomb at her agent, resulting in his death.
Allegations of Collusion and Lack of Security:
Suvendu Adhikari, West Bengal Leader of the Opposition and BJP member, shared videos and photos of the violence, accusing State Election Commissioner Rajiv Sinha of executing Mamata Banerjee’s plans. Adhikari criticized the Mamata Banerjee executive, claiming that the collusion between TMC goons and the police was once dependable for the escalating violence.
Disruptions, Attacks, and Ballot Box Destruction:
Multiple incidents marred the polling process, including attacks on polling booths, destruction of ballot boxes, and disruptions of voting. Miscreants set fire to a polling booth in Cooch Behar, while another booth was attacked in Jalpaiguri. In Kolabedia, TMC and Congress workers clashed over queue-jumping, and ballot boxes were stolen. Residents of Dhamsa alleged that TMC and BJP workers engaged in a scuffle and threw two ballot boxes into a pond.
Loss of Lives Amidst Clashes:
The TMC reported the killing of its booth committee member in Tufanganj by the BJP. In Malda district, the brother of a TMC leader lost his life in a clash with Congress supporters. Another TMC worker was allegedly killed in Nadia’s Chapra, as per the party’s claims.
TMC Accuses Central Forces:
The TMC accused jawans of the central forces deployed at various booths of urging people to vote for the BJP. Nevertheless, they expressed self belief that the humans of West Bengal would no longer reply to such appeals.
Condemnation from Union Sports Minister:
Union sporting events Minister Anurag Thakur strongly criticized the violence throughout the West Bengal panchayat elections, describing it because the homicide of democracy.He accused Mamata Banerjee and the TMC of resorting to any means vital to win elections and questioned the silence of the Congress and Rahul Gandhi related to the trouble.
Criticism from CPI(M):
CPI(M) leader MD Salim blamed the mismanagement and lack of coordination between central forces, state police, and the Home Ministry for the violence, stating that the people had been left unprotected.
The West Bengal Panchayat polls have been marred by violence, overshadowing the political contest and threatening the democratic process. The incidents of clashes, murders, destruction of ballot boxes, and allegations of collusion between political parties and law enforcement agencies have raised serious concerns. The crisis calls for instant motion to restore peace, guard the integrity of elections, and ensure the protection of voters and candidates.