Monday, July 22
2023 7img11 Jul 2023 PTI07 11 2023 000250B

TMC emerges victorious in the panchayat elections, while the BJP secures the second position.

The outcome of the highly anticipated West Bengal panchayat election held in 2023, seen as a crucial test for both the TMC and the BJP, is set to be announced on Tuesday.

Amidst a backdrop of sporadic violence witnessed across the state in recent days, the West Bengal panchayat election results are finally being declared on Tuesday. This election has been regarded as a significant litmus test for both the ruling Trinamool Congress and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, particularly in light of the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha polls. With the aim of maintaining law and order, tight security measures have been put in place, involving the deployment of central forces and the state police.

Here are the top 10 updates on the West Bengal panchayat election results:

  1. The counting of votes commenced at 8 am. Each counting center has been equipped with central forces and CCTV cameras for enhanced security and transparency.
  2. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) has emerged as the dominant force in the violence-affected rural polls, securing victory in 28,985 gram panchayat seats. Additionally, they are leading in 1,540 seats, as reported by the State Election Commission (SEC) until 10:30 pm on Tuesday. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the closest contender, has won 7,764 seats and is leading in 417 seats. A total of 63,229 gram panchayat seats were up for elections.
  3. The state election commission ordered re-polling in 696 booths across 19 districts of Bengal due to incidents of deadly violence and booth-capturing during the voting on July 8. The re-polling took place on Monday, with 69.85% of eligible voters casting their ballots by 5 pm.
  4. Four additional deaths were reported on Monday, bringing the total toll of political violence to 42 since the announcement of the three-tier local body polls on June 8. Allegations of vote tampering marred the panchayat elections, leading the State Election Commission, headed by Rajiva Sinha, to order re-polls in affected booths in all districts except three.
  5. The BJP criticized the Trinamool Congress government for the “state-sponsored” violence, describing Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as “ruthless” and claiming that at least 45 people have died in the clashes. The BJP nominated a four-member fact-finding committee, including MP and former Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and MP Dr. Satyapal Singh, to visit the violence-affected areas in West Bengal.
  6. Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma stated that 133 people from West Bengal sought shelter in Assam, fearing for their lives due to the violence during the panchayat elections. The chief minister assured them of humanitarian aid and provided shelter in a relief camp.
  7. On July 8, at least 19 people were killed and numerous others injured amidst widespread allegations of booth capturing, rigging, ballot box theft, harassment of polling officials, and incidents of firing and bombings. The death toll on the voting day alone was 17, seven higher than the 12 deaths recorded during the 2018 polling day violence.
  8. The re-polling commenced on Monday at 7 am under tight security, with a minimum of four central forces personnel deployed at each booth, along with state police. Voters who were in queues by 5 pm were allowed to cast their ballots, with election officers working overtime to ensure a smooth process.
  9. West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose visited South 24 Parganas district, including Bhangar and Canning, on Tuesday morning to assess the situation. On Monday, Governor CV Ananda Bose met with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and briefed him about the violence in West Bengal two days earlier.
  10. In 2018, the TMC won uncontested in 34% of the seats in the panchayat elections. This year as well, the ruling party secured several seats without contesting. The opposition alleged that several candidates were prevented from filing nominations by the TMC cadre.