Polling for four civic bodies 'peaceful', over 71% turnout recorded till 5 pm
Kolkata: Polling in four municipal corporations—Bidhannagar, Asansol, Siliguri and Chandannagar—passed off peacefully, barring a few stray incidents in some pockets. The overall voter turnout in the four civic bodies was registered at over 71 per cent till 5 pm.
According to a senior official of the West Bengal State Election Commission (WBSEC), no major incident of violence has been reported. Overall polling percentage has gone up over 71 per cent. More than 70 people have been arrested for creating trouble in the overall poll process.
"An incident of firing has been reported from Jamuria in Asansol. We are looking into the matter and a report has been sought from the local administration in this regard. EVMs have been partially damaged in five booths under Asansol and these EVMs will be examined. The Commission will make a decision if there will be re-polling in those booths," said the official.
A policeman was injured in Asansol during polling. The Commission has been looking into all the complaints which have surfaced. Police have arrested over 26 people from Asansol for creating trouble. Around 47 people have been arrested from Bidghannagar.
State Election Commissioner, Sourav Das has expressed happiness over the role of Bidhannagar police while conducting elections. Das also congratulated Director General of Police (DGP), Manoj Malaviya for smoothly carrying out the polls. Police have done a good job in Salt Lake. I visited Salt Lake during the polls. Police have taken prompt action whenever a complaint was raised, said Das.
Voter turnout of 71.87 per cent was registered in Siliguri till 5 PM, while the percentage in Chandannagar, Bidhannagar and Asansol were 71.49 per cent, 72.02 per cent and 71.67 per cent respectively till 5 pm. The voting of four civic bodies began at 7 AM and counting of votes will be done on February 14.
Outsiders were allegedly spotted in voters' queue in two wards of Bidhannagar and one in Siliguri and action was taken against them. Police detained BJP candidates Subhasish Das and Biswajit Mondal in Siliguri for their alleged involvement in creating problems outside polling booths.
In another incident, Jitendra Tiwari, former Mayor of Asansol and BJP leader allegedly entered a booth under ward 27 in Asansol with armed security personnel. The local people and Trinamool Congress supporters shouted the go-back slogan against Tiwari. His wife Chaitali Tiwari is contesting from that ward. Tiwari engaged in a verbal duel with the local people.
A BJP candidate in Asansol, Adarsh Sharma received injuries on his head during a scuffle between two groups. A bomb was allegedly hurled outside ward 68 in Asansol. In Chandannagar, BJP activists staged a demonstration in front of the SDO office alleging that rigging took place in various wards.