Kolkata: Amidst low turnout, Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) election was held in North Bengal after 10 years on Sunday.
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung said that he will not cast his vote and is ‘boycotting’ the election.
“It was up to the people to decide whether they wanted to cast their vote or not. GTA was not election was not needed,” said Gurung.
However, terming the GTA election as ‘unconstitutional’, BJP also stayed away from the polls.
While casting his vote Anit Thapa, chief of Bharatiya Gorkha Prajatantrik Morcha and also a candidate said, “We cannot fight the state government for which we are a part.”
With about seven lakh voters across 45 constituencies, GTA election till 5 pm saw a turnout of 56.5 per cent votes.
It can be noted that out of the 277 candidates, 169 were Independents.
Apart from the GTA election, polls were also held at Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad (SMP) and bypolls in sixmunicipal bodies across the state.
Polling at Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad (SMP), which is located in the foothills and in Darjeeling district was about 79.35 per cent.
Sporadic incidents of violence were reported at bypoll at Bhatapara where a women journalist was heckled and in Dum Dum Municipal Corporation BJP agents were not allowed to sit inside the booth and was also allegedly physically abused. Sporadic violence was also reported at Panihati where TMC and Left Front cadres clashed.
However, the State Election Commission had sought reports of the different incidents and claimed that the election was ‘peaceful’.