Bengal Panchayat Polls: TMC Poised for Clean Sweep, Mamata Elated

Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) is on the verge of an incredible, albeit extremely controversial, clean sweep in the West Bengal panchayat elections. The TMC is currently leading in all the Zila Parishads and Panchayat Samitis.

Victory Shows Strong We Are in Grassroot Level: Mamata Banerjee

Speaking to the press, West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC president Mamata Banerjee said that the victory resonatedwith the party’s grassroot level-reach.

"TMC has emerged victorious in 90% seats despite the opposition parties coming together. This shows how strong we are at the grassroot level."

Counting Stalled in Nadia: Reports

Firstpost reported that counting had been stalled in Nadia’s Majdia after fresh violence broke out in the area.

Police Charge at TMC and BJP Workers in Birbhum

The police charged at the supporters of TMC and BJP after the two groups got into a scuffle outside a counting centre in West Bengal’s Birbhum, ANI reported.

TMC Supporters Celebrate After Party's Huge Lead

The TMC supporters are already on the streets celebrating their party's massive lead in the panchayat election, reports ANI.

After Polls Marred by Violence, a TMC Whitewash

Results as of 12:30 pm

Zilla Parishad: The Trinamool Congress is leading in all the 222 seats declared till now, with the CPI (M), BJP and the Congress drawing a blank.

Panchayat Samiti: The TMC leads in all the declared 111 of the 330 seats. The Left, the BJP and the Congress are yet to open their accounts.

Gram Panchayat: The TMC has faced some competition from the BJP here, but leads in 750 of the 857 declared seats. The BJP is a distant second with a lead in 62 seats, according to News18.com.

Results as of 11 am

The Trinamool Congress is leading in 4,509 seats, followed by the BJP which has the lead in 361 seats.

The CPI(M) is a distant third with 281 seats. The Congress is at the fourth spot with 137 seats, as per The Indian Express.

Police Seize Mobile Phones From Counting Centre

Forty mobile phones have been seized form a counting centre in Jalpaiguri, ANI reported.

In Photos: Counting Underway

Security in Place To Prevent Repeat of Violence

The State Election Commission ordered re-polling in 568 booths on 16 May across 20 districts after the 14 May elections were marred by violence. Both the BJP and CPI(M) have blamed the TMC for the violence, that claimed the lives of at least 13 people.

Security has been beefed up to avoid a repeat of the large-scale violence that rocked the state on 14 May.

Poll officers in North Dinajpur district had threatened to boycott poll duty, demanding proper security, NDTV reported. As per the channel, the State Election Commission has directed all the political parties not to carry out victory rallies till all results are declared.

‘Murder of Democracy’: PM Modi on Poll Violence

Commenting on the scale of violence in West Bengal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed the panchayat elections a "murder of democracy".

Poll Presiding Officer Found Dead in Raiganj

Rajkumar Ray, a government school teacher in North Bengal, was a presiding officer in the panchayat polls. Ray went missing on the day of voting (14 May) and his dead body was later found in Raiganj.

Counting Begins

The counting of votes for West Bengal panchayat elections began on the morning of 17 May, a day after re-voting on the direction of State Election Commission (SEC) was held in 568 booths across 20 districts.

Polling was first conducted on Monday, 14 May, but violence ripped through the state, killing at least 13 people and injuring over 40.

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra took to Twitter on 16 May to hit out at the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government.

(With inputs from West Bengal State Election Commission, News-18)

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