Local body polls underway in Bengal

Kolkata, Oct 3 (IANS) Amid allegations of violence and intimidating tactics, polling was underway on Saturday for local bodies in four pockets of West Bengal.

In the last battle before the assembly polls next year, elections are being held for the Asansol Municipal Corporation in Burdwan district, the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation in North 24 Parganas district and the Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad in Darjeeling district.

Polls are also being held for the 16 wards of the erstwhile Bally municipality which has now been merged with Howrah Municipal Corporation.

Besides, bypolls are on for some rural body seats – two zilla parishad, 72 panchayat samiti and 341 gram panchayat.

Both in Asansol and Bidhannagar, the CPI-M accused the ruling Trinamool Congress of using violent tactics, including booth capturing.

Former state minister and CPI-M mayoral candidate in Bidhannagar Asim Dasgupta alleged that a large number of outsiders had been entering the polling booths and genuine voters being prevented from casting their votes.

Similar accusations were made by former Marxist MP from Asansol Bansa Gopal Chowdhury.

The Trinamool denied all the allegations.

The results will be declared October 7.

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