SC pulls up West Bengal election panel for alleged malpractices during panchayat polls
The court asked the poll panel to submit a report by Wednesday on the number of seats that went uncontested in the violence-marred elections.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday criticised the West Bengal Election Commission for the alleged malpractices in the panchayat elections held in the state in May, The Indian Express reported. The court said it was shocked that thousands of seats had gone uncontested.
The top court asked the election panel to submit a report by Wednesday on the number of seats that went uncontested in zilla panchayat, panchayat samiti and gram panchayat elections, The Times of India reported.
The ruling Trinamool Congress won 73% of the gram panchayat seats, 90% of the panchayat samiti seats and 99% of the zilla parishad seats in the polls. The party won 34% of the seats – 20,159 of 58,692 seats – uncontested, The Hindu reported, citing the State Election Commission’s statistics. Most of these seats are in Birbhum, Bankura, South 24 Parganas and Murshidabad districts.
The elections were marred by violence. At least 24 people died and dozens were injured in the violence that broke out on the day of polling. Opposition parties claimed that their candidates had not been allowed to file their nominations. Several people also died in clashes during filing of nominations.