The fifth and penultimate phase of West Assembly polls in 53 constituencies on Saturday recorded a voter turnout of 78.25% and polling was peaceful, even as FIRs were registered against two Presiding Officers and a TMC candidate for alleged intimidation of voters and for helping a particular party.
EC’s Deputy Election Commissioner and in-charge of West Bengal, Sandeep Saxena told a press conference that, “based on SMS-based information from polling officers, at 5 PM the voter turnout in fifth phase was 78.25%.”
This is against 82.77% final voting recorded during the 2011 assembly elections in the three districts of Hoogly, Kolkata South district and South 24-Parganas, that went to polls today. In 2014 Parliamentary elections, the said area recorded a polling percentage of 80.22%.
“Three FIRs have also been registered in an otherwise peaceful polls and 17 arrests have been made so far and more arrests are likely,” he said.
As it happened
7:00 pm: At 5 pm voter turnout reported is 78.25% in the fifth phase. Final voting percentage recorded in Phase1 A: 84.22 %, Phase 1 B: 83.73 %, Phase 2: 83.05%, Phase 3: 82.28%, Phase 4: 81.25%.
2:15 pm: Poll percentage for the 5th phase was 54.75% till 1pm.
1pm: A report from Canning in South 24 Parganas said two persons were injured as central force jawans used batons to disperse clashing Trinamool Congress and CPI(M) supporters in front of a booth in Kathaliya village under Bhangar constituency.
12.30pm: A report from Chinsurah in Hooghly district said a villager sustained head injury when he was allegedly attacked by Trinamool Congress supporters at Puin village in Arambag constituency.
12: Till 11am, voter turnout of 36.97% was recorded from Hooghly district, 39.81% in South 24 Parganas while Kolkata South had the lowest turnout with 32.58%.
11.30am: Poll percentage till 11 am is 38.30%
11am: Poll percentage until 9 am is 19.64%.
10am: Clash breaks out between TMC and CPI(M) workers in Arambag, Hooghly. A CPI(M) member injured.
9.30am: CPI(M) alleges TMC threatened people to not vote.
9am: EC takes security arrangement to new heights. Bengal fifth phase elections free from violence in the first two hours.
7 am: Polling begins for 53 constituencies in 5th phase of West Bengal Assembly elections.
Check posts have been set up at various entry points where vehicles are being frisked by police and central forces.
A senior Kolkata police officer said 800 hamlets have been identified as “vulnerable” while 1,467 booths were marked “sensitive” in this phase.
“We will do everything to conduct peaceful elections on Saturday. No nuisance will be allowed and we will deal with anybody trying to disrupt the situation very strictly,” he said.
15-20 notorious criminals have already been arrested from Tiljala, Kasba, Chetla, Garden Reach and Port areas besides Behala, Thakurpukur and Jadavpur in Kolkata, he said.
Full coverage: West Bengal assembly elections