More than 12 people killed in violence in West Bengal on panchayat poll day: BJP MP Ravi Shankar Prasad

North 24 Parganas, July 08 (ANI): A woman Police personnel checks a voter ID card of a woman voter who arrived to cast her vote for the West Bengal Panchayat election 2023, in North 24 Parganas district on Saturday. (ANI Photo)

New Delhi [India], July 8 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Ravi Shankar Prasad on Saturday said that more than 12 people have lost their lives so far in the violence that broke out in several areas in West Bengal on panchayat poll day.
“Violence has broken out in full swing in the Bengal gram panchayat elections being held today. More than 12 people have died so far and a large number of them have been injured,” BJP MP Prasad said. Targeting West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the BJP MP asked, “Where have you taken Bengal today?” Ravi Shankar Prasad harked back to history to compare the state of Bengal during the nationalist movement with that of the present situation.
“Once Bengal was the mother of democracy, the center of nationalist aspirations. It was the Bengal of Subhash Chandra Bose, it was the Bengal of Rabindranath Tagore, it was the Bengal of Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar. Is it essential that someone needs to die if an election is held?” he asked.
Posing another question to Mamata Banerjee, the BJP MP asked why the proportion of violence is so much when the state conducts local body polls.
“I have a question for you Mamataji. Earlier in Bihar and many other states many people used to die during poll. Now due to the increase in strength of the Election Commission violence has come down. During Lok Sabha elections in Bengal owing to the strength of the Election Commission, violence is less. But what is happening when your state government is conducting the gram panchayat elections?” he asked.
The senior BJP MP alleged that the Central forces are not being allowed to work properly as they are not getting support on the ground. “The central forces are not being allowed to function. They are not getting support on the ground,” he claimed.
Ravi Shankar Prasad also alleged that the West Bengal police works like a political outfit. “Mamata’s police works in the fashion of a political outfit. I don’t know if some responsible policemen are not rewarded enough or not allowed to work,” he said.
The senior BJP MP also questioned the West Bengal Chief Minister whether there is conflict in her party at the booth level.
“Your own party workers are dying. So is there conflict in your party at the booth level? I have heard this,” he said.
There is fierce tussle for control of local administrations between the ruling TMC and the BJP which will be a litmus test for both parties ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha elections.
West Bengal has 3,341 gram panchayats and the number of village panchayat election centres is 58,594. There are 63,239 seats at the Gram Panchayat level, 9730 at Panchayat Samiti and 928 at the Zila Parishad level. The counting of votes will be held on July 11.

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