West Bengal bypolls peaceful; 29% votes cast till 11 am

West Bengal bypolls peaceful; 29% votes cast till 11 am

BJP candidate Joy Saha was seen chasing a person, who he later handed over to the police claiming that the man was a fake voter

Female voters show their identity cards as they stand in a queue to cast their vote during Santipur by-polls, at a polling station in Nadia, Saturday. Credit: PTI Photo

Around 29 per cent votes were cast till 11 am on Saturday in four assembly seats in West Bengal where peaceful by-poll is on amidst tight security, Election Commission official said.

Polling began at 7 am and till 11 am Dinhata registered 28.73 per cent turnout, Shantipur 32.31 per cent, Khardah 23.60 per cent and Gosaba (SC) 33.87 per cent, the official said. There were reports of minor incidents at Khardah in the northern periphery of the city.

BJP candidate Joy Saha was seen chasing a person, who he later handed over to the police claiming that the man was a fake voter. Senior CPI(M) leader Tanmay Bhattacharya claimed that his car was attacked by TMC activists and he received injuries when he was entering the party office at Khardah.

The allegation was denied by the ruling party. The EC official told PTI, "Polling is absolutely peaceful and there is not a single incident or any problem anywhere in the four constituencies. Polling is taking place very smoothly".

The EC has, however, sought a report on the heated exchange of words between BJP and Trinamool Congress workers at Khardah constituency in North 24 Parganas district, he said.

There were complaints of similar incidents from Shantipur in Nadia district and Gosaba in South 24 Parganas district, the EC official said.

"Most of these incidents took place outside the booths or polling stations. There is an adequate number of central forces as well as state police who are handling the situation with utmost precision. We are, however, keeping a close watch on everything," he said.

The Election Commission has ordered strict maintenance of Covid-19 guidelines during the by-election. Extensive security arrangements have been made for peaceful polling.

The EC has deployed 27 companies of central armed forces at Dinhata, 22 at Shantipur, 20 at Khardah and 23 at Gosaba, an official said.

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