Bengal Panchayat polls: Sporadic violations as fresh nominations filed

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Kolkata, April 23 (IANS) Fresh nominations for the West Bengal Panchayat polls were filed on Monday amid tight security even as sporadic incidents clashes between the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress and opposition party activists took place in some districts.

Most cases of violence took place in the districts of Bankura and Murshidabad where BJP and Left activists accused the Trinamool Congress supporters of forcefully stopping their prospective candidates from filing nominations.

In Murshidabad, a CPI-M party office was vandalised by miscreants while a CPI-M candidate was allegedly beaten up and sustained a serious head injury.

The car of Congress leader Abu Hasem Khan Chowdhury was also alleged attacked with bricks and crude bombs outside the party office in Murshadabad district’s Shamshergunj.

“As many as eight bombs were hurled at my vehicle outside the party office. The car has been damaged and two of my associates got injured in the incident,” Chowdhury said.

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Stray incidents of violence were also reported from South 24 Pargana district’s Diamond Harbour, Budge Budge and Nodakhali where the CPI-M accused Trinamool Congress backed goons of stopping their candidates from going near the BDO offices to file nominations.

Acting on a Calcutta High Court order, the West Bengal State Election Commission on Saturday fixed April 23 as the extended deadline for filing of nomination papers for the coming Panchayat polls in the state and asked the state police to ensure security during the nomination process.

It also fixed April 25 for scrutiny of fresh nominations and April 28 as the last date for withdrawal of candidatures.

The opposition BJP, CPI-M, Congress and PDS had moved the court, accusing Trinamool of unleashing massive pre-poll violence against their party workers to prevent them from filing nominations ever since the poll process began on April 2.

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Justice Subrata Talukdar on Friday quashed the SEC’s April 10 order that had cancelled the extension of date for filing of nominations, which the poll panel announced on April 9 night, directing it to issue a fresh extended deadline for filing of nominations in consultation with the state government and other stakeholders.

–IANS

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