Poll boycott in some areas of West Bengal

In Malda, a boycott was under way in five polling stations and in at least two booths in South Dinajpur district.

"Senior officials have rushed to the area to convince the voters. The Election Commission in New Delhi has been informed," said state Joint Chief Electoral Officer Dibyendu Sarkar.

He said they had a sense that electors in some areas of Malda would boycott the polls on the issue of under-development.  "The district election officer (district magistrate) was asked to talk to the voters and convince them to participate in the poll. We thought they had been persuaded."

The district election officer of South Dinajpur said voters boycotted the polls in two stations but details were awaited.  The first round of the six-phased West Bengal elections began Monday in 54 constituencies in six districts. The elections end May 10 and the counting of votes is due May 13.

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