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Counting begins in WB panchayat polls, Trinamool leads

Kolkata, July 29 (): Amidst tight security counting for the West Bengal panchayat polls started on Monday. Initial trends have put Mamata’s Trinamool in the lead in maximum number of districts, where the ruling party was said to have  already won over 6,000 seats.

Fearing a possible political clash, counting of votes for village councils began on Monday after 25 people were killed during polling which is likely to decide the fate of 1.69 lakh candidates, including 90,000 women.

According to initial counting trend, the Trinamool Congress was leading in most of the districts, said officials of State Election Commission. A number of seats also seemed to witness a triangular fight between the Trinamool, the Communist Party of India-Marxist-led Left Front (LF) and the Congress, where the Left and the Congress have accused the state ruling government for using force and threats to win the election dishonourably.

Opposition parties claimed that the Trinamool did not even allow them to contest in 6,000 seats, which might lead the Trinamool to win easily without contesting, said the state Congress workers. The CPM on its part alleged that the Trinamool party cadres used force to drive them out from counting centres. However, the allegation was denied by the state chief minister.

Meanwhile, State Election Commission (SEC) Mira Pandey alleged that tight security arrangements have been arranged in all centres with deployment of adequate central forces and state security personnel in order to make the counting process smooth and fair.

Section 144 Crpc prohibitory order within 200 metres has been clamped around all counting centres to avoid crowd or any untoward incident during the counting process, said the Election Commissioner.

To keep a record of the entire process and track any possible misdeed, videography and CCTVs have also been arranged in all counting centres, said Pandey. Generators have also been arranged as a stand-by in case of any power failure during counting of votes, added the officer.