Rigging of Votes in Bengal Panchayat Polls


The three-tier panchayat elections in West Bengal have seen a repetition of an escalating scale of violence and intimidation unleashed by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) on their political opponents and against people who were perceived to be voting against it.

At every stage of the polling process – from filing of nominations, campaigning, the polling day on July 8 and the counting day on July 11 – there were attacks on candidates, supporters of opposition parties, intimidation and prevention of voters going to polling booths, capturing of ballot boxes and polling booths and large-scale manipulation of the voting process.

Finally, sensing that the polling had not gone in their favour in many places, there was large-scale manipulation of the counting process ranging from driving out of counting agents of opposition parties, destruction of ballot papers of opposition candidates and falsification of results. There are numerous reports of CPI(M) candidates being elected and given the certificate of election only to see it being snatched away and destroyed by TMC goons.

Another disturbing feature of the election has been the connivance of state administration and police with the ruling party in all its illegal actions. The role of the State Election Commissioner has been disgraceful throughout.

The mainstream media have announced that the TMC has won a sweeping victory in the results declared so far.  There is no meaning in trying to analyse these results for any political conclusions.  The entire exercise has been farcical and democracy has been butchered in the TMC’s drive to capture all panchayati institutions.

P Sudhir

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