Bengal civic bodies poll count now on October 9

Kolkata, Oct 5 (IANS) The West Bengal State Election Commission (SEC), which had postponed the vote count indefinitely in three civic bodies following mounting protests over allegations of violence and rampant malpractices, on Monday announced counting will be held on October 9.

The decision of the SEC came barely hours after the ruling Trinamool Congress staged a demonstration at the panel’s office demanding counting be held as scheduled on Wednesday and threatened to intensify the stir if its demand was not met.

“The counting for the municipal corporations of Bidhannagar, Asansol and parts of Howrah will be held on October 9,” state election commissioner Sushanta Ranjan Upadhyay told media persons.

Incidentally, Upadhyay, earlier on Monday evening had informed the media that the commission was yet to arrive at a decision on fixing the date of counting.

Upadhyay also said repolling in certain booths will take place on October 8.

Following a sustained agitation by the CPI-M led Left Front as well as the Bharatiya Janata Party alleging irregularities and violence, Upadhyay on Sunday announced putting on hold indefinitely the counting process that was scheduled for Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, led by party secretary general Partha Chatterjee, Trinamool leaders held a demonstration at the SEC demanding the counting process be held as scheduled.

Warning the Raj Bhavan and the SEC against providing assistance to the BJP, Chatterjee threatened to intensify the stir if the SEC failed to notify the counting date at the earliest.

“Tomorrow (Tuesday), we will take out a rally in the city denouncing the CPI-M’s politics of violence and disruptions. If by then, the election commission doesn’t make any announcement about initiating the counting process, the rally will then head towards the state election commission,” Chatterjee said.

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