LIVE: Over 70 per cent polling in both Assam, West Bengal in second phasehttps://indianexpress.com/article/elections-2016/india/india-news-india/live-elections-assam-west-bengal-polls-voting-underway-poll-percentage-latest-updates/

LIVE: Over 70 per cent polling in both Assam, West Bengal in second phase

The fate of 688 candidates for 92 seats - 61 in Assam and 31 in West Bengal will be decided today. We get you the latest updates.

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Voting has begun in the final part of the one-phase election to the state assemblies of Assam and West Bengal.

High voter turnout was recorded in the assembly polls in Assam and West Bengal where an estimated 79 per cent and 75 per cent of the voters cast their ballots on Monday till around 4:30 pm amid sporadic clashes and police firing that resulted in the death of an elderly voter.

Five hundred and twenty five candidates are in the fray for 61 of the 126 Assembly constituencies in Assam. Polling was held for 65 seats on April 4.

LIVE UPDATES:

8:14 pm: FIR against Tarun Gogoi for poll code violation

6:00 pm Polling ends in Assam, West Bengal

5:42 pm

4.38 pm:  70.41 per cent voting in Assam till 3.38 pm.

3.45 pm: 71.60% voter turnout recorded till 3 pm in West Bengal

2:45 pm: An 80-year-old voter was killed and three others, including two CRPF personnel, were injured in a clash between the central force and voters in Sorbhog contituency in Barpeta district, Assam.

2:30 pm 59.78 per cent polling in Bengal till 1 pm.

1.50 pm: The polling percentage in Assam has shot up to 55 per cent till 1.30 pm.

1.20 pm: Voters of a leprosy colony in Bankura district of West Bengal today exercised their franchise freely as a polling booth was marked exclusively for them inside a hospital where doctors turned into polling personnel.

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As part of a special drive by the Election Commission to ensure voting by all sections of the society in large numbers, a model polling booth was set up inside Gauripur Leprosy Hospital situated at Kalyanpur, one of the oldest leprosy hospitals in India.

The booth has 320 voters registered in the roll, who are either leprosy patients or belong to a leprosy-afflicted family.

1.10 pm: Former PM Manmohan Singh casts his vote in Assam today. “Voters of Assam will reward Congress for the good work it has done for people of state in last 15 years,” Dr Singh said.

 

12.40 pm: CRPF personnel fired in the air at a polling station to disperse a group of voters agitating over alleged misbehaviour of a jawan of the central force with a pregnant woman in Kamrup district today.

The incident occurred when a woman after casting her vote wanted to go back inside again to pick up her child left behind at the Nityasar Khula Bazar LP School polling centre, Superintendent of Police Prasanta Saikia said.

11. 25 am: In West Bengal, as the temperature hovered around the 40-degree mark today, the scorching heat claimed one casualty within the first three hours of voting process. Polling officer Parimal Barui at booth number 295 of Pandabeswar in Burdwean died of a heart attack.

11.15 am: TMC candidate from Borjora in Bankura, Soham Chakraborty was stopped from entering the booth. It had been alleged that a CRPF jawan prevented him from entering the booth in spite of having proper identity card.

“If it is lawful, I think I should be allowed and if it is not permitted, I will not enter the booth myself. I have kept higher authorities in the party informed about it,” Chakraborty said.

11.11 am: About 20% voting has been recorded in West Bengal in the first two hours of polling.

“Till 9 a.m., 19.95 percent polling has been recorded. The turnout in West Midnapore is 23.97 percent, 16.92 percent in Bankura and 18.95 percent in Burdwan,” said an Election Commission official.

11.00 am: At least 25% of the 1,04,35,271 electorate exercised their franchise amidst tight security during the first three hours of polling in the second and final phase of Assembly elections in Assam today.

9.31 am: An unidentified man, brandishing a gun, spotted in Bankura district

9.00 am: Differently-abled voters cast their vote in West Bengal

8. 55 am: Two bags containing bombs found in Jamuria (Asansol, Bardhaman district in West Bengal). Police team present at the spot.

8.51 am: A crude bomb was hurled in Bankura district by an unidentified person, no casualties.

8.42 am: A CPI (M) polling agent has been hospitalised after he was allegedly attacked by TMC workers at a polling booth in Chandrakona (West Midnapore) West Bengal.

8.37 am: There appears to be much cheer at this polling booth in Assam

8. 20 am: Here are some photos from West Bengal

7.35 am: AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal casts his vote

7.00 am: Voting has begun across constituencies in West Bengal and Assam.
In Assam, the ruling Congress, led by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi who is hoping to return for a fourth term, is locked in a keen triangular contest with BJP-AGP-BPF alliance and AIUDF with the issue of infiltration from Bangladesh hitting the spotlight.

The elections in West Bengal for 31 seats will seal the fate of some top opposition leaders where 163 candidates, including 21 women, are in the fray in the 31 seats of West Midnapore, Bankura and Burdwan districts. The Assembly strength is 294. Polling for 18 Assembly constituencies was held on April 4.

Congress is contesting in 57 seats, opposition AIUDF in 47, BJP in 35 while its allies–the Bodo Peoples’ Front in 10 and the Asom Gana Parishad in 19. The CPI(M) is contesting in nine seats, the CPI in five, and Independents in 214.

Among prominent candidates in fray are cabinet ministers Rakibul Hussain, Chandan Sarkar and Nazrul Islam for the Congress, former two-time AGP Chief Minister Prafulla Mahanta, AIUDF chief and Dhubri MP Badruddin Ajmal and former Congress minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who led a dissidence against the Chief Minister and joined BJP last year.

Over 50,000 polling personnel have been deployed for the second phase even as security has been tightened across the constituencies, particularly those in four Bodoland Territorial Area Districts where NDFB(S) ultras are active and in Goalpara district which witnessed a bomb blast recently.

In West Bengal, around 70 lakh people are eligible to cast their votes.

The hustings will witness a triangular contest among the ruling Trinamool Congress, Left Front-Congress combine, and BJP. All of them have fielded candidates in all the 31 seats.

Five-time CPI-M MLA from Narayangarh and Leader of Opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra, senior state Congress leader Manas Bhuniya from Sabang are among the major candidates in this phase.

91-year-old Gyan Singh Sohanpal, the senior most member in the assembly, is in the fray again from Kharagpur Sadar seat, where he is pitted against BJP state president Dilip Ghosh.

Two prominent newbies – Bengali film actor Soham Chakraborty and Col Diptanshu Chaudhury (retd), who had fought in the Kargil War – are trying their luck in politics on Trinamool Congress and BJP tickets respectively. Besides the Saradha chitfund scam, opposition parties have been targeting the TMC government on the recent Narada sting operation where party leaders were purportedly seen accepting bribe. Issues related to industrialisation and the “Syndicate Raj” have also been haunting the dispensation.

On the other hand, Trinamool is making a determined bid for a second successive term by harping on the ‘development’ and welfare schemes the Mamata Banerjee government has brought in state during its maiden five-year rule.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury were among the star campaigners for the opposition parties.

For TMC, party supremo Mamata Banerjee, who has urged the people to vote thinking that “I (Banerjee) am the candidate in all 294 seats”, has campaigned extensively.

Polling will be held at 8,465 polling stations amid tight security. Central Armed Police Forces have been mandated the responsibility of handling situation inside the booths.

In Assam, other major candidates in the fray include BPF’s Chandan Brahma, Pramila Rani Brahma and Rihon Daimari, AGP’s Ramendra Narayan Kalita and Kamala Kalita and their former colleagues who joined the BJP — Atul Bora and Chandra Mohan Patowary.

The campaign in the second phase, which has a predominant minority population in several constituencies, focused primarily on the issue of infiltration.

The BJP pledged to resolve the infiltration issue by completely sealing off the Indo-Bangla border while Congress said there was no Bangladeshi in Assam and it was the Tarun Gogoi government that took initiative to update the National Register of Citizens to resolve the issue.

The AIUDF, on the other hand, highlighted its role as the king-maker.

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Part one of the single-phase of Assembly polls in West Bengal and Assam on April 4 passed off peacefully, with a high voter turnout of over 80 per cent.

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