The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has claimed that the voting in West Bengal panchayat elections was rigged in thousands of the booths and the party would approach the Calcutta High Court over the alleged rigging.
BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari said that the ongoing repolling in West Bengal panchayat elections is a "sham" as the State Election Commission (SEC) is holding repolling in just 696 booths whereas rigging took place in around 6,000 booths.
Adhikari, also the Leader of Opposition in West Bengal assembly, accused the SEC of being in contempt of the High Court order. He said that there is also evidence of collusion of polling personnel in the rigging. He also claimed that most of the booths in the state were taken over by the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC).
He tweeted, "We demanded repoll in those booths, where: a) There's evidence of false voting in the CCTV footage, including rigging by polling officers themselves or where the rigging process have been facilitated by them b) those polling booths where the BJP agents were present in the beginning of the polling process, which can be ascertained by the CCTV footage, but were thrown out before the end of voting i.e. when the ballot boxes were being sealed."
Widespread violence and deaths dominated the rural elections in West Bengal. Following the violence that led to at least 33 deaths, and tempering with the voting process, voting was declared void in hundreds of booths and the SEC announced repolling in such booths on Monday. There are 696 such booths.
Adhikari tweeted, "Initially the West Bengal State BJP provided the details of more than 6,000 booths where either the CCTV cameras were not installed or malfunctioning or there would be clear evidence of false polling captured by the CCTV cameras. We demanded repoll in all such Booths. The State Election Commission is conducting repoll in only 696 booths across the state. It's a complete sham and wilful contempt of the Hon'ble Calcutta High Court's Order."
Adhikari said the the BJP is going to approach the High Court on Tuesday. He accused the SEC "daylight robbery", saying, "Tomorrow our Lawyers will submit all the relevant documents and evidence to the Hon'ble Calcutta High Court. We won't let the State Election Commission get away with their daylight robbery."
Everyone knows that day before yesterday; i.e. on 8th July, 2023, what happened across the length & breadth of West Bengal, in the garb of so called Panchayat Elections.— Suvendu Adhikari • শুভেন্দু অধিকারী (@SuvenduWB) July 10, 2023
There was wide spread & unabated violence resulting in more than 20 deaths, while leaving hundreds injured;… pic.twitter.com/F7j7RThpJ4
In his Twitter post, Adhikari also said that most of the booths were taken over by the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers and false voting was conducted.
He tweeted, "Thousands of polling booths were captured by TMC goons in order to rig the voting process, even the polling booths were bombed, there was arson within the booths, the polling officers were held in gunpoint while criminals engaged in 'Chappa' voting. The WB Police personnel were mere spectators or acted as facilitators. Out of the 61,000-plus booths in the 44,000 booth compartments (complexes housing a single or more than one Booth); the majority of them were captured by the TMC goons."
The PTI reported that Adhikari also alleged that the SEC is conducting repolling based on a list given by TMC.
He said, "Our list has apparently been overlooked by SEC Rajiva Sinha and we are not surprised. The list of booths announced by SEC last night was submitted by the TMC...An exhaustively detailed evidence, backed up with ample video footage, will be submitted to the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday.