Hindustan Times (East UP)
OVER 80% VOTER TURNOUT IN BENGAL POLLS
KOLKATA: Barring stray incidents of violence in North 24 Parganas, polling for 43 assembly seats across four districts in the sixth phase of elections in West Bengal was largely held peacefully amid a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases. Polling was held for nine seats each in North Dinajpur and Nadia, 17 in North 24 Parganas, and eight in East Burdwan district. Until 5 pm, 79.09% of the votes were polled.
The voting took place amid the spike in coronavirus infections as 5,110 cases and 58 deaths were reported on Wednesday. The ruling TMC on Thursday again urged EC to club the remaining two phases in view of the rise in Covid cases.
KOLKATA: Election at 43 assembly seats in four districts of Bengal was more or less peaceful in the sixth phase on Thursday, barring some stray violence in North 24 Parganas, even as sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in the state posed a threat to people.
Polling was held in nine seats in North Dinajpur, nine in Nadia, 17 in North 24 Parganas and eight in East Burdwan district.
About 79.09 per cent voter turnout recorded till 5 pm in 43 seats. The highest polling rate, 75.20 %, was reported from East Burdwan. Nadia came second with 74.01 %.
Voting took place amid an unprecedented spike in coronavirus infections with 5110 cases and 58 deaths reported till Wednesday.
With the sixth phase, polling has been held in 223 of Bengal’s 294 seats.
Union home minister Amit Shah, while addressing a rally at Harirampur in South Dinajpur district, where polls will be held on April 26, said, “By the time polling in the sixth phase ends, the BJP will secure absolute majority. But we still want you to vote for us so that BJP gets more than 200 seats.”
In North 24 Parganas district, where a young man died and explosions rocked several parts on Wednesday, Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers clashed at Ashoknagar, Barrackpore and Bijpur constituencies.
Although no death or critical injury was report from anywhere, BJP workers alleged that six people sustained splinter injuries when bombs went off at Ashoknagar.
TMC workers, on the other hand, alleged that central armed police force personnel opened fire at them and a man was shot in the leg. Central force officers posted in the area dismissed the allegation saying no shots were fired anywhere.
The Election Commission (EC) sought a report on this from the local administration. The EC’s police observer Navin Kumar rushed to Ashoknagar.
The administration had tightened security in North 24 Parganas since violence was regularly reported from the district since the Lok Sabha polls in 2019 when TMC won 22 out of Bengal’s 42 seats while the BJP made remarkable progress by winning 18.
Shah and chief minister Mamata Banerjee held rallies in districts where polls will be held in the last two phases on April 26 and 29. s