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82 per cent polling recorded in West Bengal
Nearly 82 per cent voter turnout was recorded in six Lok Sabha seats which went to the polls in the fourth leg of the five-phase elections in West Bengal on Wednesday.
“On an average 81.28 per cent of the electors cast their votes till 6 PM in the six constituencies of Jhargram, Midnapore, Purulia, Bankura, Bishnupur and Asansol,” state Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Gupta said.
Gupta said polling has been completed in the LWE areas covering six Assembly segments of Jhargram, Binpur and Bandwan in Jhargram Lok Sabha seat and Balarampur, Baghmundi and Jaypur in Purulia constituency two hours ahead of the normal schedule at 4 PM.
Polling continued till 6 PM in rest of the constituencies, he said.
“Queues have been seen in some polling stations and polling will continue till they are cleared,” Gupta said.
CPI(M) and other opposition parties alleged massive rigging and booth capturing in many parts of the constituencies, but the CEO said barring some stray incidents the election was free, fair and peaceful.
“All complaints had been taken care of with timely action against each of them, but many were found baseless,”
Elaborate security arrangements were made for the polling in Jangalmahal with deployment of central forces in all polling stations.
Gupta said voting remained peaceful except for some stray incidents in which three persons were arrested, a couple of polling agents were removed, departmental proceedings initiated against an assistant sub-inspector and a voter was injured in an attack.
“We have not yet received report of any major incident regarding disruption of law and order or complaint of booth jamming or violation of the model code of conduct,” he said.
There was no incident of any poll boycott during this phase, he said adding altogether 28 EVMs had to be replaced as they did not work properly.
Arrangements were there for webcasting and live monitoring of sensitive areas where tight security was provided by central forces.
There were some encouraging scenes during the day. Tanmay Chakraborty, District Magistrate of Purulia said 50 voters of Notundih village under Raghunathpur Block-II of the district, cast their votes for the first time.
“There are 500 voters in the village, but due to some prejudice they never came out to cast their votes. After extensive awareness campaign, for the first time 50 voters came to the booth and cast their votes today. Out of them, there were 45 female voters,” said Chakraborty.