- The State Election Commission received the news of the death of 10 people.
- Media reports put the death toll in the ongoing clashes higher.
- The BJP leader called the state administration unsuccessful in stopping the violence.
KOLKATA: Election-related violence in India’s West Bengal tragically killed at least 10 people over the weekend, disrupting ongoing elections in the state where Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party aims to regain power in 2021 following its defeat. have to achieve.
Nearly 700 polling stations were set to reopen on Monday, according to Nilanjan Shandilya, a state election commission official, as a result of clashes between political rivals that disrupted rural governing council elections.
Since the announcement of elections on 8 June, sporadic violence has gripped the eastern Indian state. According to media reports, incidents of political rivals shooting at each other, throwing crude bombs at voters and obstructing access to polling stations are prevalent.
Shandilya said, the State Election Commission has received reports of 10 deaths during polling on Saturday.
Media reports put the death toll higher. The Indian Express daily said there had been at least 20 election-related deaths as of Monday. State police declined to comment on the deaths.
Political violence has long plagued the industrial state of West Bengal, which was a Communist bastion for years until current Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) party came to power in 2011.
The TMC currently has a majority in rural councils, called panchayats, but faces a challenge from Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, which is trying to make inroads there after losing the state assembly elections in 2021. Is.
TMC spokesperson Shantanu Sen said, “Political opponents had nothing to counter our development initiatives. That’s why they unleashed violence against our party workers.”
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Dilip Ghosh said the state government had failed to maintain security. “The state administration has completely failed to stop the violence and bloodshed,” he said.