Seven civic bodies in the West Bengal went to polls on Sunday. Some incidents of violence were reported in Durgapur and Haldia, as per the report by The Indian Express. As per the report, the state unit of BJP has alleged that Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers captured booths in Durgapur Municipal Corporation and attacked its candidates. The state BJP General Secretary Sayantan Basu was quoted as saying that TMC workers have captured booths in wards 1, 3, 4, 11, 15, 18, 21 and 23 in Durgapur. He also said that the BJP candidates have been attacked in wards 4, 15, 18, 21 and 23. “We strongly condemn this. We are also getting reports of violence from Haldia municipality,” Basu was quoted as saying. However, denying the allegations, the State Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikari said that elections are being held peacefully in the state and that the opposition party is saying all this because they have lost the support of the people.
While the report also suggests that a TMC worker was thrashed by an independent candidate in one of the wards in Coopers’ Camp Notified Area in Nadia district. Unconfirmed reports by The Indian Express unconfirmed also suggest that shots were fired in Durgapur Municipal Corporation area, however, it could not be ascertained who fired the shots.
Amidst an atmosphere of violence and fear in the state, the civic polls are being held in Durgapur Municipal Corporation, Dhupguri Municipality, Buniadpur Municipality, Coopers’ Camp Notified Area, Nalhati Municipality, Panskura Municipality and Haldia municipalities in East Midnapore district today. While municipal bypolls are also being held for two wards in Champdani Municipality (ward no. 12) and Jhargram Municipality (ward no. 7).
Being the largest civic body among the seven, all eyes were on Durgapur Municipal Corporation and how the West Bengal State Election Commission conducts the polls this time. Earlier the Opposition parties said that it has lost confidence in the state election commission after it allegedly turned the previous civic polls held for seven municipalities in May into a farce.