Mysterious case of invalid ballots leads to BJP candidate’s victory in Bagachra panchayat in Santipur

Mysterious case of invalid ballots leads to BJP candidate’s victory in Bagachra panchayat in Santipur

Biswabrata Goswami

KRISHNAGAR, 19 JULY: In a startling turn of events at Booth number 30 of Bagachra panchayat in Santipur, a single valid vote emerged amidst a sea of unsigned ballots, resulting in the unexpected victory of BJP candidate, Pratika Burman. The incident has sparked controversy and allegations of conspiracy from the Trinamul Congress (TMC) camp.

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On the day of polling, 8 July, a total of 789 votes were cast in the closely-watched gram panchayat seat election. However, during the counting process on 11 July, it came to light that all 788 ballots, except one postal ballot, were not signed by the presiding officer, rendering them invalid.

Upon discovering the discrepancy, the Block Development Officer (BDO) of Santipur took swift action by rejecting the unsigned ballots and validating the lone postal ballot, which turned out to be in favor of the BJP candidate, Pratika Burman. As a result, she was declared the winner, defeating the TMC candidate, Ratna Burman.

The Trinamul Congress leaders were quick to react to the outcome and filed formal complaints with both the District Election Officer and the State Election Commission, urging them to conduct a repoll. They also demanded a thorough investigation into the incident and insisted on taking appropriate action against the presiding officer for allegedly neglecting to sign the ballots.

TMC leaders voiced their concerns, hinting at the possibility of foul play, claiming that the presiding officer had signed all the ballots in other panchayat samity and zilla-parishad seats where TMC candidates secured victories. They cited this inconsistency as a potential conspiracy to manipulate the election results and defeat their candidate, Ratna Burman.

The authorities are now faced with the challenging task of investigating the matter impartially and determining whether there was any wrongdoing or if the incident was merely a procedural oversight. The District Election Officer  has assured the public that they will conduct a thorough inquiry to uphold the integrity of the democratic process.

As the situation unfolds, political tensions in the region are on the rise, with both BJP and TMC supporters holding firm to their stances. The outcome of the investigation and the decisions taken by the electoral authorities will undoubtedly have far-reaching implications for the panchayat’s political landscape, a local resident said.

Tags: #panchayatpolls #Bagachrapanchayat #Santipur #BJP

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