Although there were violent fights between opponents during the West Bengal panchayat elections, there were also strange acts by candidates who were determined to win and refused to concede loss.
In the North 24 Parganas district, a CPM candidate claimed that his Trinamool Congress competitor ate a number of ballot papers once he fell behind. Following that, the counting at the Bhurkunda panchayat block booth was halted. According to the Trinamool, the accusation is unsupported by any evidence.
CPM’s Rabindranath Majumdar stated in a statement to local media that he had won the race by a margin of four votes. “They (Trinamool) never even requested a recount. When Trinamool’s candidate Mahadeb Mati entered the voting booth, he grabbed a stack of ballots from my box and began devouring them. A horrified Mr. Majumdar recalled that the man had also thrown some of them around before leaving.The administration has reportedly not yet declared a winner.
In a another incident, BJP workers allegedly used a vote box to start a relay race in Coochbehar, north Bengal.
At a polling place in Mathabhanga, BJP workers allegedly removed the vote box and fled after accusing the incumbent party of manipulating the election. Villagers ran after the box, passing it back and forth as in a relay race.
Trinamool employees are accused of tossing a voting box down a drain in a panchayat area of New Town, close to Kolkata.
In a another polling place in North 24 Parganas, a Trinamool employee ran with the ballot box and dove into a pond in anticipation of the party candidate losing.
The episodes depict the complete pandemonium that, once again, characterised Bengal’s rural elections. Political violence at the polls in rural areas has taken almost 40 lives, much like in prior elections under previous regimes.
The Trinamool has emerged as the undisputed victor, with the BJP coming in a distant second place, while results in certain constituencies are still pending.