Over 18 per cent voters on Thursday exercised their franchise in the first two hours of polling in the third phase of West Bengal Assembly elections for 62 seats, seven of which are in northern Kolkata.
The highest voter turnout of 20.53 per cent was recorded in the 22 seats of Murshidabad district while the lowest of 14.71 per cent was recorded in the metropolis till 9 am.
The voting percentage in 17 seats of Nadia district was 18.09 while in Burdwan it was 17.01.The overall average was 18.29 per cent.
Amidst a tight security cover by one lakh security personnel deployed to look after law and order, polling
which began at 7 am in 16,461 polling stations will go on till 6 pm.
Over 1.37 voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in this phase to elect their legislators from among 418 candidates, including 34 women.
Key candidates in this phase include Trinamool ministers Shashi Panja and Sadhan Pande, BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha, five-time Congress MLA Md Sohrab, CPI-M MLA Anisur Rahman and retired IPS officer Nazrul Islam.
The Election Commission has identified 3,401 hamlets in the phase as vulnerable.
Polling will be held in three more phases ending on May 5.