West Bengal saw 78.36 per cent voter turnout till 6.30 pm in the fifth phase of the assembly election on Saturday.
Chief Electoral Officer Ariz Aftab said that the polling “was held peacefully” in 15,789 polling stations spread across 45 assembly constituencies.
The polling was held in six districts – Jalpaiguri, Kalimpong, Darjeeling, Nadia, North 24 Parganas and Purba Bardhaman.
Jalpaiguri recorded the highest turnout with 81.71 per cent, while Purba Bardhaman and Nadia registered 81.67 per cent and 81.50 per cent.
A total of 319 candidates, including 38 women, contested in this phase.
Among the 45 constituencies, Maynaguri reported the highest turnout of voters at 85.65 per cent while the Matigara-Naxalbari constituency recorded 81.65 per cent and Barasat recorded 77.71 per cent. Bidhanagar saw 61.10 per cent of voters and Siliguri 74.83 per cent turnout.
The Election Commission (EC) had invoked powers under Article 324 to curtail the timing of the campaign to curb the spread of COVID-19, extending the silence period to 72 hours for the remaining three phases. The fourth phase of polling had seen violence in which five persons were killed.
Few minor incidents were reported in the fifth phase election on Saturday.
The controversy over the audio tapes on Sitalkuchi continued as the BJP said it will meet the EC this afternoon.
A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) polling agent died inside a booth in Kamarhati while voting was underway for the fifth phase of West Bengal Assembly polls on Saturday.
“His name is Abhijeet Samanta. Nobody helped him, there is no facility for treatment here,” the brother of the deceased BJP polling agent told ANI. Another BJP worker said, “We do not know what exactly happened as we are not allowed in a radius of 200 metres. I went with water after seeing him lying on the ground.”
Meanwhile, the Election Commission has sought a report over the sudden death of the BJP polling agent at booth number 107 in Kamarhati on Saturday.
West Bengal: CP Ajoy Nanda visits various polling booths in Kamarhati assembly constituency, in North 24 Paraganas
“Elections are underway peacefully. We are ensuring free and fair elections,” he says pic.twitter.com/LRahQ7WH0M
— ANI (@ANI) April 17, 2021
Also, a violent clash broke out between BJP and Trinamool Congress workers in Bidhannagar in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district when polling was underway for 45 seats in the fifth phase of the West Bengal assembly elections. Officials said that the incident took place in the Shanti Nagar area of Bidhannagar. Both TMC and BJP supporters were seen pelting stones at each other following an altercation.
Voting for the fifth phase of West Bengal assembly polls began at 7 am on Saturday amid tight security. Polling is underway in a total of 45 constituencies covering the districts of Jalpaiguri, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and a segment of Nadia, North 24 Parganas and Purba Bardhaman in the fifth phase. A total of 319 candidates, including 39 women are in the fray in Phase-V.
There are 15,789 polling stations designated for this phase. The security for this phase has been beefed up with the deployment of 1,071 companies of central forces for ensuring a peaceful election.