Millennium Post

Sporadic clashes mark final phase of polling

Kolkata: On the final day of the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections, which recorded 72.91 percent turnout till 5 pm in the nine parliamentary constituencies of the state on Sunday, there were stray incidents of violence in some parts of the state coupled with voting machine glitches.

Till 5 pm, Mathurapur (SC) recorded the highest turnout at 78.52 percent, followed by Basirhat at 77.77 percent and Diamond Harbour at 77.40 percent. Joynagar (SC) recorded 75.81 percent turnout, Barasat 74.41 percent, Dum Dum 73.05 percent, Jadavpur 70.97 percent, Kolkata South 67.09 percent and Kolkata North recorded 61.18 percent of polling.

"Polling was absolutely peaceful. There was no report of any violence from anywhere in the nine constituencies. The incidents reported were very minor and necessary action was immediately taken," an Election Commission official said.

"There were, however, reports of EVM glitches in several polling stations. We had to send reserve EVMs to the booths, where the voting process was temporarily hampered due to technical glitches," he added.

On Sunday morning, several Electronic Voting Machines in South Kolkata and Dum Dum constituencies developed snag and had to be replaced. Trinamool Congress leaders alleged that as polling was held up for anything between half-an-hour to three hours, the new EVMs could not undergo mock tests.

TMC chief Mamata Banerjee alleged that the Central Forces and the BJP carried out "tortures" during Sunday's election. "Since this morning, BJP workers and the Central Forces personnel carried out unprecedented torture on the voters. I have not seen such a thing ever," Banerjee told reporters after casting her vote.

Braving the heat, voters stood patiently in queues for hours to exercise their franchise. Three Presiding Officers have been replaced for their failure to conduct the polls properly. Of these, one Presiding Officer was replaced in Baruipur while two others in Falta under Diamond Harbour constituency. Altogether, 346 arrests have taken place out of which 324 persons have been arrested under the Preventive clauses while 22 have been arrested under specific cases. Two vehicles have been damaged of which one belonged to a candidate while the other was that of a convoy.

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