80 pc polling in WB amid stray incidents

80 pc polling in WB amid stray incidents

The third phase of the five-phase polling in West Bengal to the Lok Sabha went off peacefully on Wednesday with the average poll percentage recorded at around 80 per cent till 6 pm. Polling took place in nine Parliamentary constituencies across the four districts of Birbhum, Burdwan, Howrah and Hooghly.

Within the first four hours of polling, around 44 per cent polling was recorded in the nine constituencies of Howrah, Uluberia, Serampore, Hooghly, Arambagh, Burdwan East, Burdwan-Durgapur, Bolpur and Birbhum, the state’s Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Gupta said. 

“The polling percentage was very good in the first four hours and a arge number voters were waiting in queues in most polling stations. Polling was peaceful and incident-free,” he said. Galsi, an Assembly constituency in Burdwan district, also witnessed a by-election, he added.

At the end of the day’s polling, Bolpur recorded 84.9 per cent, Burdwan East 85.48 per cent, Burdwan-Durgapur 83.74 per cent, Howrah 73.43 per cent, Uluberia 81.1 per cent, Hooghly 82.5 per cent, Serampore 77.06 per cent, Arambagh 84.25 per cent and Birbhum 84.7 per cent. 

Gupta said some EVMs had to be replaced after mock polling and arrangements had been made for webcasting and live monitoring of sensitive areas amid tight security provided by central security forces, which were more than double that of the 2011 Assembly elections.

Prominent candidates in the fray on Wednesday were the BJP’s Bappi Lahiri from Serampore, journalist-turned-politician Chandan Mitra in Hooghly and actor George Baker in Howrah. Prominent Trinamool candidates included sitting MPs Satabdi Roy from Birbhum, Kalyan Banerjee from Serampore and Sultan Ahmed from Uluberia, besides former Indian football star Prasun Banerjee from Howrah. 

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