A group of 71 newly-elected gram panchayat members of West Bengal have fled to Jharkhand after allegedly being threatened by the Trinamool Congress, the ruling party of the neighbouring state.
The gram panchayat members from three north Bengal districts -- Malda, North Dinajpur and South Dinajpur -- have taken shelter in two dharamshalas at Nirsa of Dhanbad district bordering West Bengal, a BJP leader claimed.
Some of the panchayat members, particularly women,brought their family members also.
Dinajpur mandal BJP general secretary Devdas Barman, who have brought them to the BJP ruled Jharkhand, alleged that the elected BJP panchayat members were forced to flee because of constant threat by TMC workers.
"The TMC activists have told us either to join their party, and vote for TMC supported panchayat pradhan, or face the consequences," one of the woman panchayat members claimed.
BJP's West Bengal unit president Dilip Ghosh lastmonth said his party workers were taking shelter in neighbouring states following continuous violence allegedly unleashed by the TMC.
Three-tier panchayat election was held in West Bengalon May 14 when widespread violence had left at least 12 people dead and 43 injured. -- PTI