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16 May 2017

Raiganj BJP seeks repoll

The CPM march in Raiganj on Monday.
KOUSIK SEN, TT, Raiganj, May 15: The BJP today said it would launch a demonstration in front of the subdivisional office here tomorrow to seek re-polling at all booths in the Raiganj municipality.
While the CPM held a rally and BJP leaders organised a day-long demonstration in front of the district party office at N S Road here today to protest against violence and alleged rigging during the civic polls yesterday, the Congress remained silent.
Nirmal Dam, the North Dinajpur district BJP president, today said: "Tomorrow, we will hold a demonstration in front of the SDO's office to seek re-polling at all booths in Raiganj municipality. Unless the administration, in consultation with the state election commission, announces the re-polling, we will not withdraw the protest. Whatever happened yesterday was only a sham. The manner in which hooligans backed by Trinamul launched attacks on booths and obstructed voters was unprecedented in the history of Raiganj."
T.N. Sherpa, the Raiganj SDO, is the returning officer of the municipal polls.
He said re-poll would be held at booth 22 in ward 7 tomorrow. Yesterday, miscreants had ransacked the EVM at the booth.
The BJP's move to launch an all-out offensive against the local administration is seen as an attempt to cements its base in Raiganj.
"The BJP has taken on board leaders and supporters of all parties other than Trinamul in the state. In Raiganj, the BJP is following the same strategy. Silence of the district Congress leadership has obviously left a section of party workers disgruntled. They have the feeling that the party is not standing by them in the hours of crisis and was not making moves to pre-empt attacks like those which happened yesterday. This is where the BJP is trying to outsmart the Congress," said an observer.
That the Congress has read the writing on the wall was evident from the remarks of Mohit Sengupta, the Raiganj MLA and North Dinajpur district Congress president.
"If any of our candidates wants to visit the counting centre on May 17, he is free to do so. We hope some of our candidates will win. We have never seen such violence in Raiganj," he said today.
The Trinamul camp was elated.
"Taking control of the civic board is just a matter of time. People have voted us in large numbers. Our workers are already making plans for celebrations. Those in Opposition know what the results will be. That is why they are raising baseless allegations," Amal Acharya, the North Dinajpur district Trinamul president, said.

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