Fifth phase polling largely peaceful in Bengal, voter turnout at 78.36 pc: Official

election voting

The fifth phase of polling in 45 assembly constituencies of West Bengal witnessed at least 78.36 per cent voter turnout on Saturday, Chief Electoral Officer Aariz Aftab said.

Jalpaiguri registered the highest polling percentage (81.73), followed by Purba Bardhaman (81.72), Nadia (81.57), North 24 Parganas (74.83), Darjeeling (74.31) and Kalimpong (69.56), he said.

Voting was held at 15,789 polling stations in six districts from 7am to 6.30pm an additional one-and-half hours in view of the COVID-19 situation.

The updated polling figure is likely to be declared by the Election Commission later in the evening or on Sunday.

“By and large polling has been peaceful in Bengal today apart from a few incidents of violence,” Aftab said.

At least 123 people, including one Independent candidate, were arrested during polling in the six districts of the state, the CEO said.

“Out of the total figure, 100 are preventive arrests. Independent candidate Koushik Bhowmick was held from Baliadanga Daspara in Chakdah assembly constituency for carrying a country-made firearm outside booth 44, 44A. It was seized,” Aftab told reporters.

Three people were apprehended for attacking and injuring one person in Shantipur, and two others were detained for ransacking a house in Gayespur.

Altogether, 2,241 complaints were received from the constituencies, he said.

The EC had deployed at least 853 companies of central forces for Saturday’s polling.

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