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Kolkata, July 13 Fresh elections will be conducted in 20 booths in three districts of the state where polling for the three-tier panchayat system was conducted on July 8, West Bengal State Election Commission (WBSEC) said here on Thursday.
According to state Election Commissioner Rajiva Sinha, the date of the fresh polling is yet to be announced.
There will be fresh polling process in these booths and not by-elections, he added.
Of the 20 booths where fresh polling has been ordered by the commission include 15 in Howrah district, four in North 24 Parganas district and one in Hooghly district.
Commission sources said that complaints of theft or destruction of ballot papers were reported from these booths on the day of the counting on July 11.
In one case, a Trinamool Congress candidate, Mahadeb Mati from Habra in North 24 Parganas was seen swallowing ballot papers after he was found trailing from the CPI(M) candidate in the last round of counting.
“The commission inquired the matter and found allegations raised on such counts justified. Hence, it has ordered fresh polling for these 20 booths,” a commission official said.
Meanwhile, while in a case related to destruction of ballot papers, Justice Amrita Sinha observed that victory in panchayat polls seems to be equivalent to five years of ensured job and income and hence so much violence and bloodshed is prompted over it.
Justice Sinha also questioned the commission on why violence is continuing in different pockets of the state even after the elections process and counting are over.
NotabIy, it was Justice Sinha only, who had earlier observed in the court that rural civic body elections should be stopped if there is much violence and loss of human lives over it.