In the fifth phase of Bengal elections, 53 constituencies polled 78.25% till 5 pm amid sporadic incidents of violence and rigging across Kolkata and Hooghly.
While polling was free from violence in crime-prone constituencies of Garden Reach, Metiabruz, Khidirpore, Mominpore, Ekbalpore, Tiljala and Tollygunge, the same was reported from Baruipur East constituency.
In Nabagram of Baruipur East, two TMC supporters were shot at and two more were attacked with sharp weapons. While TMC leaders alleged that CPI(M) men were behind the attack, Left leaders claimed that one faction of the ruling party targeted another.
In Arambag constituency, TMC leader Sheikh Nizamuddin received EC’s wrath as he went ahead and cast vote on someone else’s behalf. The poll watchdog ordered his arrest and removed the booth presiding officer. EC also ordered an FIR against the presiding officer.
TMC’s Satgachi candidate Sonali Guha courted controversy early in the day by instructing party workers to thrash ‘Left agent’ on the phone.
“Thrash the CPI(M) agent and throw him out of the booth. They have put the EVM out of order.”
While state Congress president Adhir Chowdhury and CPI(M) politburo member Md Salim demanded her arrest, EC directed the South 24 Parganas district administration to file a police complaint against Guha.
Till 5 pm, South 24 Parganas and Hooghly recorded 79.69% and 78.98% turnout respectively, followed by Kolkata South, 63.10%.
Stakes were high for the Trinamool Congress that had to maximise its tally in the fifth phase of polling for which around 1.23 crore residents were to cast their votes in 14,642 polling booths.