Re-election begins in 568 booths under high security


"During the five-phase panchayat elections in 2013, re-polls were held in around 100 booths", sources in the SEC said.

The booths where repolling is happening are spread in all the 20 district of the state where the gram panchayat polls were held on Monday, SEC officials said.

Polling was high with as much as 82.13% of the electorate turning up to cast their vote, according to a statement issued by the state election commission. A lot of people died because of violence created by Mamata Banerjee's party.

Condemning the violence, former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee said that panchayat polls have cemented the grave of democracy in West Bengal.

They said there was little scope for recommending repolls in only a handful of booths after Monday's widespread snatching of ballot boxes, destruction of ballot papers and several other irregularities.

"The repolling started at 7 in the morning and will end at 5 pm". The counting will be held on May 17. In the polling booths of North 24 Parganas, South 24 Paragana and West Midnapore, security personnel maintained strict vigil on the re-polling process and kept these areas nearly violence-free.

He said the administration was in the process of ensuring tight security for Wednesday's re-polling between 7am and 5pm.

Of the 58,000-plus seats in the state, more than 38,000 were up for contest.

Declaring re-polls in 573 booths was not easy for the commission as the state government did not want to give its nod to such a large number.

Twelve people were killed on Monday in clashes between rival political groups vying for village council seats in eastern India, police said. Workers of these parties were killed. There were also reports of violence from Malda's Ratua, Uttar Dinajpur's Raiganj, and from Amdanga in North 24 Parganas district. In other incidents of violence, 15 people were injured in a clash outside a polling booth in Nandigram.

Taking note of the incident, the Ministry of Home Affairs also sought a report from the state government regarding incidents of violence during Panchayat Election in the state.