83 pc turnout in WB fifth phase polls

The fifth phase of polling was held in 38 constituencies spread over parts of Burdwan and Maoist-affected West Midnapore, Bankura, and Purulia districts.

Barring some minor incidents of clashes and police cane charge, polling ended peacefully with the Election Commission officials predicting that the final percentage of polling is likely to go up as reports from several villages in the poll-bound districts indicate nearly 90 per cent turnout.

With the Maoist threat of violence and the ultras’ call for boycott looming large, the EC pressed two Indian Air Force helicopters into service for carrying out aerial surveillance in the forest areas and remote corners of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia while around 600 companies of central paramilitary forces deployed on ground provided a tremendous boost to the electorate.

The final phase of polling in 14 seats will be held on May 10.

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