Kolkata: The results for the West Bengal panchayat polls will be announced on Thursday.
The state witnessed violence in a number of places during the panchayat polls, which was held on May 14, due to which re-polling was held on Wednesday in 568 panchayat election booths spread across 19 districts of the state.
The booths, where re-polling took place, include 63 in Murshidabad, 52 in Coochbehar, 28 in West Midnapore and 10 in Hooghly among others.
Below are the live updates:
02:20 pm: Clashes broke out between TMC and BJP workers oustide a counting centre in Birbhum. Security personnel had to resort to lathicharge to control the crowd.
12:45 pm: TMC workers celebrate as their party is leading. Visuals from North 24 Parganas. Counting still under progress.
11:26 am: Out of the total 31,814 gram panchayat seats contested, TMC has won 110 and is leading in 1,208, reports ANI. BJP has won 4 and leading in 81, while CPI(M) has won 3 seats and has a lead on 58. Counting in progress.
#WestBengal #PanchayatElection: Out of the total 31,814 that were contested for, TMC has won 110 & is leading on 1,208, BJP has won 4 & is leading on 81, while CPI(M) has won 3 seats & has a lead on 58. Counting in progress.— ANI (@ANI) May 17, 2018
11:25 am: Early trends indicate TMC storm across Bengal. In Howrah district, TMC is leading in 281 gram panchayat seats, while BJP is in second position with 4 seats; in East Midnapore district, TMC is leading in 390 seats and BJP in 14. The corresponding numbers for Hooghly district are 501 (TMC) and 12 (BJP), for South 24 Parganas, it is 530 (TMC) and 13 (BJP), and for North 24 Parganas, it is 581 (TMC) and 21 (BJP).
10:58 am: Trinamool Congress surges ahead in 1,800 gram panchayat seats while the BJP and CPI(M) are leading in 100 and 30 gram panchayat seats respectively, PTI reports, quoting state election commission official.
10:52 am: TMC won 79 gram panchayat seats, BJP 2, CPI(M) 1 and independent 1.
10:41 am: Trinamool Congress is leading in most districts. Opposition gains negligible. In East Burdwan district, TMC is leading in 281 gram panchayat seats, while BJP is leading in 15. In South 24 Parganas district, TMC is leading in 370 seats, BJP in 25.
10:34 am: Clash between Trinamool Congress and BJP workers outside counting centre at a college in Chopra of North Dinajpur district. BJP supporters block NH31 that connects Kolkata and Siliguri in protest.
10:25 am: BJP, CPI(M) and Congress candidates alleged that ruling Trinamool Congress supporters prevented their counting agents from entering counting centres at several places in Rajarhat and Habra (North 24 Parganas district), Bhagabangola (Murshidabad), Hanskhali and Phulia (Nadia).
Candidates fielded by the land agitators in Bhangar ahead in five of the eight Polerhat gram panchayat seats where they filed nomination through Whatsapp. However, they were behind TMC in the panchayat samiti seat, where they filed nomination through the same route.
10:20 am: Police seize 40 mobile phones from a counting centre set up at Jalpaiguri’s Polytechnic Institute.
10:14 am: BJP comes second in most places ahead of CPI(M), according to initial trends.
9:45 am: Trinamool Congress wins six gram panchayat seats and is ahead in most of the seats where counting is underway.
9:25 am: Counting of votes has started in Cooch Behar, Alipurduar, North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur, Jalpaiguri and Malda districts of North Bengal.
8:48 am: Counting of votes delayed at a counting centre in North 24 Parganas, reports news agency ANI.
8:35 am: Counting for gram panchayats will take place first. Then ballots for panchayat samitis will be counted and those for zilla parishads will come up last.
8:30 am: Counting has started for the Bengal panchayat elections. Counting is taking place in 291 centres in 20 districts in which elections took place.
The panchayat elections in West Bengal saw huge-scale clashes on Monday between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers, resulting in the death of at least 12 people.
While addressing a meeting at BJP headquarters in New Delhi, Prime Minister Modi tagged the violence as "murder of democracy".
"There is one more thing I want to talk about...the scenes from the Panchayat Elections in West Bengal. It was nothing but a murder of democracy. From the nomination stage to the day of polling, where was the spirit of democracy? People were bullied," Modi said.
The State Election Commission had ordered the re-poll, following complaints of violence during the polls on Monday. The poll panel later urged the state government and the police to make elaborate security arrangements so that polling can be held in a free and fair manner.
The Congress, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) and other parties of the Left Front also staged a protest outside State Election Commission in Kolkata against the incidents of violence.
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.
The voting took place for 621 zilla parishads, over six thousand panchayat samitis, and nearly 31 thousand gram panchayats.