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Last phase in Bengal sees 76.07% voter turnout

Last phase in Bengal sees 76.07% voter turnout
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Kolkata: The eighth and last phase of elections in Bengal was largely peaceful with few stray incidents of violence being reported from some areas that involved 11,860 polling stations of 35 constituencies of the state — 11 each in Murshidabad and Birbhum, six in Malda, and seven in North Kolkata. The average poll percentage till 5 pm was 76.07 per cent.

Interestingly, Birbhum district where the Commission had deployed 225 companies of Central forces — the most number among the four districts witnessed the highest poll percentage of 81.87 till 5 pm. Malda recorded voting of 80.06 per cent while Murshidabad registered 78.07 per cent polling. North Kolkata had a vote percentage of 57.43.

Among individual constituencies in the city, the Jorasanko Assembly constituency witnessed the lowest polling of 48.45 per cent while Chowrangee recorded 51.98 per cent. Entally constituency received the highest voting in the city with 65.79 per cent while both Beliagahta and Maniktala had over 60 per cent polls.

Major incidents that took place during the polls started with the alleged explosion of two crude bombs near Mahajati Sadan under the Jorasanko Assembly constituency early morning before the beginning of polls. The police collected CCTV footage of the spot and have initiated a case but no arrests have been made. None was injured in the incident.

The second incident was reported from 239 Rabindra Sarani under the Posta police station area at 9 am when two crude bombs exploded. The police arrested six persons in connection with the hurling of bombs.

Clashes broke out on more than one occasion between two political groups. In Kolkata's Beliaghata area, clashes broke out between two groups of people on more than one occasion following which the police resorted to mild lathi-charge to disperse the group. In the Maniktala constituency, BJP candidate Kalyan Choubey was allegedly gheraoed by a group of people during his visit to the polling booths.

There was an altercation between two political parties at Nanoor in the Birbhum district. The backside windscreen of the vehicle of BJP candidate Tarakeshwar Saha was ransacked during the incident. There was another altercation at around 2.15 pm at Bolpur between two groups in which some people suffered minor injuries.

ADG (Law & Order) Jagmohan said the police made 835 preventive arrests on Thursday that included 316 from the Kolkata Police area. Four persons were arrested on charges of violations of Section 144 while 20 were arrested under specific cases. "We have recovered 78 crude bombs, seized 5 illegal weapons and 21 round ammunition," Jagmohan said.

The Commission received 1179 complaints through various platforms on Thursday. There was drone surveillance at some polling booths in Kolkata for monitoring the elections.

Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and his wife Sudesh Dhankhar cast their votes at a polling booth in Chowrangee.

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