Millennium Post

Phase-IV: 78.05 % turnout, relatively peaceful polling

An estimated 78.05 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the fourth phase of West Bengal Assembly election covering 49 constituencies today, in sync with the high polling trend in the previous three rounds. 229 people were arrested in various poll-related incidents.

Overall, 78.05 per cent voter turnout was recorded for 49 seats in the two districts after polling began at 7 AM, officials said. Till 5 PM, 79.16 per cent voters exercised their franchise in North 24-Parganas district while the figure in Howrah was 75.46 per cent.

Polling went on till 6 PM and the final figures will be known only tomorrow. An FIR was lodged against BJP leader-actress Roopa Ganguly for allegedly pushing and obstructing a woman Trinamool Congress activist and her mother from casting their votes in Howrah district after a heated altercation.

Additional Director General of Police (law and order) Anuj Sharma said that during the day 229 arrests were made, out of which 207 were preventive ones. A presiding officer in a booth of Baranagar was removed from duty after it was found that web camera was kept in the wrong direction.

Another presiding officer was replaced in Minakha for partisan behaviour while a polling officer in Baranagar was removed on being found that he is a voter of the same constituency. A departmental inquiry has been initiated against all of them, Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Gupta said.

In the crucial fourth phase, electoral fate of several state ministers will be decided, including those of Finance Minister Amit Mitra, Agriculture Minister Purnendu Basu, Law Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya, Tourism Minister Bratya Basu, Food and Supplies Minister Jyotipriyo Mullick and Agriculture Marketing Minister Aroop Roy.

An estimated 1.08 crore voters were eligible to exercise their franchise in the polls that will decide the fate of 345 candidates, including 40 women. Unprecedented security arrangements had been made and about 90,000 security personnel, including central armed forces, have been deployed by the Election Commission.
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