The 49 assembly constituencies in West Bengal which went to polls on Monday in phase 4 of assembly elections recorded 78.05 per cent voter turnout with the Election Commission saying it was a “smooth” affair.
- Average voter turnout rose to 67% at 3pm.
- Voting continues with an average voter turnout of 52.22% at 1pm.
- FIR registered against BJP’s Rupa Ganguly after scuffle with TMC worker at a polling booth in Howrah reports ANI.
- Brisk polling continues with an overall voter turnout of 42.01% till 11 AM.
- While 42.37% of the electorate voted in North 24 Parganas district, 41.25% voted in Howrah.
-Tanmay Bhattacharya, CPI-M candidate in North Dumdum constituency of North 24 Parganas district alleged that he was attacked by TMC supporters.
- Bhattacharya’s complained, a brick was hurled at his car that shattered the rear glass.
- Bhattacharya alleged that a Trinamool-backed goon “Tyapa” attacked him, his rival Trinamool caniddate, Chandrima Bhattacharya, described it as a redundant complaint.
- Brisk polling was reported in both North 24 Parganas and Howrah districts. At 9 am, the voter turnout stood at 22.63% in North 24 Parganas and 20.34 % in Howrah. The overall percentage was 21.87%.
- No large scale violence was reported in the first three hours of polling in the fourth phase of the West Bengal elections. A ruling party candidate was arrested by police for hitting a Left worker in the face.
- Bombs were hurled near a booth at Halisahar in North 24 Parganas.
- Rupa Ganguly, BJP candidate from Howrah North, complained of booth jams to the constituency observer. “In many booths, the person who is responsible for refreshing the EVM is intoxicated, can’t see, or is inactive,” she alleged.
- TMC supporters have been accused of hurling bombs outside a booth in Halisahar, North 24 Parganas.
- Voters were allegedly threatened at Madhyamgram, Bhatpara, Noapara and Khardah in the crime-prone North 24 Parganas district.
- “You will leave, and then these people will beat us up,” a women voter was heard telling paramilitary force personnel when they offered to escort her to the polling station.
- State finance minister Amit Mitra is the Trinamool candidate in Khardah seat, and his rival is former finance minister Ashim Dasgupta.
- Trinamool supporters were accused of assaulting a three-year-old in Bijpur of North 24 Parganas district.
- Sporadic incidents of intimidation were reported from different areas of Howrah and North 24 Parganas districts as 49 seats went to the polls in the fourth phase of the Bengal assembly elections on Monday.
- In Howrah North, Trinamool supporters protested against BJP candidate Rupa Ganguly. The feisty BJP leader kept moving from booth to booth in the morning. She also got involved in an altercation with a Trinamool councillor in Howrah.
- Polling was peaceful in Salt Lake, said Congress candidate Arunava Ghosh.
- In some areas of North 24 Parganas like Barrackpore, voters were intimidated allegedly by ruling party leaders.
9:00 am Fourth phase of WB polls to decide fate of Trinamool ministers
- Polling is taking place in the two districts of North 24 Parganas and Howrah — both of them considered the ruling Trinamool Congress’ impregnable citadel - with the party upbeat about retaining their 2011 tally of 44 seats in these two districts.
- Over 1.08 crore voters across 12,481 polling stations, including 27 auxiliary booths, are eligible to decide the fate of 345 candidates including 40 women.
- While the Trinamool and the Bharatiya Janata Party are contesting in all the constituencies, the Left Front constituents and the Congress are in t he fray in 46 seats, leaving Howrah Central to Janata Dal-United, and Domjur to an independent Protima Dutta.
- Political heavyweights from all camps are in the fray in this phase, including seven ministers — five of them from North 24 Parganas alone.
- The ministers whose fate would be decided in the 4th phase are Amit Mitra (Khardaha), Jyotipriya Mallick (Habra), Bratya Basu (Dum Dum), Purnendu Basu (Rajarhat-Gopalpur), Chandrima Bhattacharya (Dum Dum North), Arup Roy (Howrah Central) and Rajib Bandopadhyay (Domjur).
- Bidhan Nagar Mayor and incumbent MLA from Rajarhat New Town, Sabyasachi Dutta, is another heavyweight from TMC.
- Besides, CPI(M)’s Asim Dasgupta (Khardaha), BJP’s Rupa Ganguly (Howrah North) and Congress’ Arunabha Ghosh (Rajarhat New Town) are also contesting the elections.
- All eyes will be on jailed former transport and sports minister Madan Mitra, who is contesting from Kamarhati seat in North 24 Parganas district.
- Mitra was arrested by CBI in December 2014 in the multi-crore rupee Saradha chit fund scam. Interestingly, despite being a registered voter he will not be allowed to cast his vote because of incarceration.
8:30 am: Unprecedented security arrangements
- Following reports of violence in the third phase of polling which left at least one CPI-M worker dead, the Election Commission has made unprecedented security arrangements for this phase.
- Altogether, 90,000 security personnel including central armed forces have been deployed to ensure free and fair elections. Special intervention includes patrolling at night and even on river, which is being done for the first time in this election.
- So far, voters in 167 of the state’s 294 assembly constituencies have exercised their right to franchise on April 4, 11,17 and 21 in the first three phases.
- Polling in the, fifth and sixth phases will be held on April 30 and May 5 for 53 and 25 constituencies, respectively.
(With inputs from agencies)