The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) four-member fact-finding committee under the leadership of BJP MP and senior party leader Ravishankar Prasad reached Kolkata, West Bengal on July 12. BJP President JP Nadda formed a four-member committee in the wake of the widespread violence during the Panchayat elections in Bengal. The delegation reached West Bengal and will visit the violence hit areas today (Wednesday, July 12) and on Thursday. In a press conference on Tuesday (July 12), BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said that 45 people had lost their lives in the violence preceding the Panchayat elections in the state. The state put the death toll at 20.
Satyapal Singh, Rekha Verma, Rajya Sabha MP Brijlal and Dr Rajdeep Roy, Lok Sabha MP from Assam are members of the fact-finding committee.
“It is an unfortunate matter that so many people died and such large scale violence took place in the state,” said Ravi Shankar Prasad, after reaching Kolkata.
“Why should more than 40 people lose their lives in the gram panchayat election? Why the so-called colleagues who are trying to forge an alliance against Narendra Modi are maintaining a conspicuous silence? We will visit and submit our report to the President. I hope the Mamata government will allow us to visit the affected areas?” he further remarked, talking to the press.Violence broke out in West Bengal ahead of the Gram Panchayat elections. The voting day saw widespread violence, looting of ballots papers and rigging, as alleged by parties. There were reports of booth capturing, damaging of ballot boxes and assault of presiding officers from several districts such as Murshidabad, Cooch Behar, Malda, South 24 Parganas, North Dinajpur and Nadia.
Reports also emerged of ballot boxes being set on fire and clashes between political parties in different locations, reported news agency ANI.