Bengal logs peaceful polls, registers 82 per cent voter turnout

In fact, West Bengal recorded the highest voter turnout among all states in the 7th phase with 81.35 per cent of the electorate casting the ballot  till evening. Deputy EC Vinod Zutshi said the polling percentage in Bengal is expected to be 83 per cent.

Voter turnout was nearly 68 per cent in West Bengal till 2 pm in the seventh phase of the Lok Sabha elections on Wednesday. ‘On an average 67.34 per cent voters cast their votes in the first seven hours of polling,’ West Bengal Assistant CEO Amitjyoti Bhattacharya said.

Polling was being held in the districts of Howrah, Uluberia, Serampore, Hooghly, Arambagh, Burdwan(East), Burdwan-Durgapur, Bolpur and Birbhum.’Polling was peaceful and incident-free’, the CEO said.

Some EVMs had to be replaced after mock polling.Arrangements were made for webcasting and live monitoring of sensitive areas amid tight security provided by central forces which were more than double than the 2011 Assembly election. However Opposition candidates made some noises about the ruling party indulging in violence in some areas and booth capturing.

By-elections in the Galsi (SC) Assembly seat in Burdwan district was also held on Wednesday. The prominent candidates in the fray today are BJP’s Bappi Lahiri in Serampore, journalist-turned-politician Chandan Mitra in Hooghly and actor George Baker in Howrah, who carry the party’s hopes to score big for the first time in the state.

Among Trinamool Congress candidates fielded were sitting MPs Satabdi Roy from Birbhum, Kalyan Banerjee from Serampore and Sultan Ahmed from Uluberia, besides Prasun Banerjee from Howrah, a former India soccer player.

For the CPI-M, it will be a fight to hold on to four seats – Bolpur, Burdwan East, Burdwan-Durgapur and Arambagh among the nine which it had won the last time. Congress candidate Abdul Mannan was also in the fray in Serampore.

There were 13 women contestants seeking the verdict from 13.8 million voters who were eligible to vote in 17,330 polling booths.

In 2009, the Trinamool Congress had won five of the nine seats –Uluberia, Howrah, Serampore, Hooghly, and Birbhum.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front won the remaining four seats of Bolpur, Arambagh, Bardhaman Purba and Bardhaman-Durgapur.
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