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West Bengal Panchayat polls: Filing of fresh nominations turn bloody, at least two dead

Violence reported from many parts of Bengal.

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West Bengal Panchayat polls: Filing of fresh nominations turn bloody, at least two dead
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 The filing of fresh nominations for panchayat elections in West Bengal happened on Monday amid allegations of violence levelled by opposition parties against "goons" of the ruling Trinamool Congress. According to preliminary reports, at least two people have died in clashes regarding filing of nominations. Violence was reported from several parts of Bengal including Birbhum, North 24 Parganas, Malda etc with even senior opposition leaders allegedly being targetted by ruling party. 

A BJP worker has been killed in Siuri, in Birbhum district of the state, considered one of ruling TMC's stronghold. Another person has been killed in Gopalnagar, in North 24 Parganas. Union Minister Babul Supriyo alleged that he was stopped from escorting his party workers to file nomination and police are helping the ruling party.

The filing of nominations, which began at 11 am, continued till 3 PM.  The Calcutta High Court had on Friday directed the State Election Commission (SEC) to extend the date. The SEC issued a fresh notification on Saturday announcing April 23 as the new date for filing nominations to the three-tier panchayat elections. "

The opposition has accused the Trinamool Congress of "letting loose a reign of terror" since the morning to prevent their candidates from filing their papers. "Since the morning, goons of the TMC are trying to terrorise our candidates. The police and administration are mute spectators," state Congress president Adhir Chowdhury said.  A senior TMC leader brushed off the allegations as "baseless" and blamed the opposition for "vitiating peace" in some parts of the state. State Minister and close Mamata aide Bobby Hakim said that BJP is gradually losing ground and hence it is bringing people from outside to garner support. 

The dates for the polls, which were earlier scheduled to be held on May 1, 3 and 5, are yet to be announced by the commission. The nominations received today would be scrutinised on April 25. The last date for the withdrawal of candidature is April 28, the notification had said

With PTI inputs 

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