West Bengal panchayat polls counting tomorrow amidst tight security

The Times Of India.

KOLKATA: Counting of votes of the crucial panchayat election in West Bengal will begin tomorrow amidst tight security arrangements made by the state Election Commission (SEC).

On the directive of the Supreme Court, the five-phase rural poll in the state was held on July 11, 15, 19, 22 and 25.

State election commissioner Mira Pandey said that the entire counting process would begin at 8.00am on Monday under tight security cover around all counting centres.

“Counting in all centres will be held under tight security cover with the deployment of adequate Central forces and state security personnel to make it smooth and peaceful,” Pandey said.

She also said that district administration have been asked to clamp section 144 Crpc prohibitory order within 200 metres around all counting centres tomorrow to avoid crowd or any untoward incident during the counting process.

“Videography and CCTVs have also been arranged in all counting centres to keep a record of the entire process and track irregularities if there is any,” Pandey said.

“No mobile phones will be allowed inside the counting centres and generators have been kept as standby arrangement against power failure during counting of votes,” Pandey said.

Of the total 58,865 seats going to polls, 6,274 have been won uncontested, a majority by the Trinamool Congress.

In all 1.7 lakh candidates are in fray in over 17 districts.

Most panchayats and zilla parishads are now under the control of the Left Front.

The apex court order had come after the high-voltage tussle between the Mamata Banerjee government and SEC had hit a blind alley as both sides refused to budge on security, with the government insisting on the state armed police and the SEC demanding Central forces for the polls.

Apart from this, dates and phases of polling were also a matter of dispute between the SEC and state government.

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