It alleges malpractices by ruling TMC in municipal elections

 Elections to 12 civic bodies across nine districts in West Bengal were held on Saturday, amid allegations of malpractices levelled by the Left Front and its withdrawing its candidates in Burdwan and Chakdah.

State Election Commissioner Mira Pande, who was overseeing polling in certain wards in Panihati Municipality in North 24 Parganas district faced protests — first by angry voters and later by supporters of the ruling Trinamool Congress.

She said the Left Front’s decision to withdraw its candidates was its own.

 The Left Front has demanded that re-election be held in Burdwan and Chakdah, alleging that the Trinamool had not allowed fair elections there.

Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Surya Kanta Mishra said the CPI(M) decided to ‘withdraw’ its candidates there as as polling agents of the Left Front were forced to leave booths.

Moreover, he said, Left Front supporters were attacked in the presence of the SEC in Panihati Municipality. 

 Meanwhile, SEC officials said, more than 80 per cent votes were cast brisk polling till late evening.

Clashes and reports of electoral malpractices also came from Panihati Guskara, Dubrajpur and Habra.

About 8.47 lakh voters will decide the fate of candidates in more than 200 wards in the 12 municipalities. Counting of votes will be done on September 24.

Trinamool denies

 Refuting Mr. Mishra’s charges, Trinamool general secretary Mukul Roy said polling was free and peaceful, and that there was no truth in allegations by the CPI(M). “It is strange that a political party wants to withdraw when the polling process is almost over.”

In the 2008 elections, the Left Front won five municipalities, the Congress four and the Trinamool three.  

Over 80 per cent votes cast in brisk polling in 12 civic bodies. Counting on September 24.