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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Bengal Elections: 80% vote turnout in fourth phase; 86% in Sitalkuchi

Among the five districts where the fourth phase polling was held on Saturday, Cooch Behar reported the highest turnout at 84.76 per cent.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
April 12, 2021 3:16:26 am
People queue up outside a polling booth in Cooch Behar on Saturday. (Express Photo: Partha Paul)

The Election Commission (EC) on Sunday said 44 Assembly seats that went to polls in the fourth phase the previous day recorded a final 79.90 per cent voter turnout while it was 85.57 per cent for the violence-hit Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar district.

The EC had on Saturday ordered repolling at booth number 126 in Sitalkuchi after central forced opened fire at a mob allegedly trying to snatch their rifles, killing four people. In a separate incident, a first-time voter was killed by miscreants in the same constituency.

Among the five districts where the fourth phase polling was held on Saturday, Cooch Behar reported the highest turnout at 84.76 per cent. Among other districts, Alipurduar recorded 82.54 per cent votes, Hooghly 79.75, South 24 Parganas 77.25 per cent and Howrah 77.24 per cent.

Meanwhile, tension gripped Gopalpur Gram Panchayat of Mathabhanga in Cooch Behar after “a bucket of crude bombs” was recovered from roadside on Sunday. Locals claimed that the bucket contained “12-13” bombs. The recovery prompted police and other security agencies to increase their vigilance in the area with more check posts. Locals blocked the Mathabhanga-Mainaguri state highway in protest and sought an investigation into the case. The blockade was lifted after police assured of action.

In another incident, police recovered bombs, bomb-making equipment, gun powder and bullets at Madral Joychanditala area of Bhatpara on Saturday night. Police registered a case under the Explosive Substances Act and Arms Act. Bhatpara in North 24 Parganas will go to polls in the sixth phase on April 22.

At the Dubrajpur Assembly constituency, BJP candidate Anup Saha claimed that his car was vandalised allegedly by a TMC group raising “Khela Hobe” slogans on Sunday when he was campaigning at Bhadulia village. Two BJP workers were injured in the attack, sources said.

TMC’s Dubrajpur block president Bhola Mitra denied Saha’s allegation: “People are angry with the BJP and have expressed their anger.”

Congress’s Manikchak candidate Md Mottakin Alam was allegedly attacked by miscreants during campaigning in the area, the party alleged on Sunday.

The vehicle of party MP Abu Hasem Khan Chowdhury who was accompanying Md Mottakin Alam was also vandalised, the party added. The Congress accused TMC supporters of staging the attack, a charge denied by the ruling party.

Manikchak goes to the polls in the last phase on April 29.


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