West Bengal elections phase 6 updates | 79.09% turnout recorded till 5 p.m.
The Election Commission has ruled out any change in the schedule of the polls.
At least 79.09% voter turnout was recorded till 5 p.m. in 43 Assembly constituencies of West Bengal where voting was held for the sixth phase, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Aariz Aftab said.
Polling was held between 7 a.m. and 6.30 p.m. at 14,480 polling stations in 17 Assembly constituencies in North 24 Parganas district, nine each in Nadia and Uttar Dinajpur districts and eight in Purba Bardhaman district.
"Polling was by and large peaceful today, apart from a few incidents of violence," a senior official of the CEOs office in Kolkata said.
Among the four districts, Nadia registered the highest voter turnout of 82.67%, followed by Purba Bardhaman (82.15%), Uttar Dinajpur (77.76%) and North 24 Parganas (75.94%), Mr. Aftab added.
The Election Commission has deployed 1,071 companies of central forces for the sixth phase.
The State will witness two more phases of polling on April 26 and 29. Votes will be counted on May 2.
Here are the live updates:
79.09% voter turnout recorded till 5 pm
The sixth phase recorded a turnout of 79.09% till 5 pm, the Election Commission said. A total of 7,466 out of the 14,480 polling stations across the constituencies were monitored live through webcasting, even as drones were used to keep a watch over the vote proceedings, the EC said in a statement.
During the ongoing elections in West Bengal, a record seizure of Rs. 316.47 crore has already been reported till today. It includes seizure of cash, liquor, narcotics, freebies, and it is over seven times the total seizure of Rs 44.33 crore made in the 2016 assembly polls, the statement said.
A total of 14,480 Ballot Units (BUs), and as many Control Units (CUs) and VVPATs were used during this phase. "Non-functioning rate of EVMs and VVPATs during the poll is comparable to what was experienced in the last few polls," the statement said. A CU, at least one BU and a VVPAT makes for one EVM.
70.42% voter turnout recorded till 3 pm.
57.30% voter turnout till 1 pm.
CEC seeks report on violence; 37% turnout till 11 am
An elderly woman being assisteed to cast her vote for the 6th phase of West Bengal Assembly polls, in Nadia, Thursday, April 22, 2021. | Photo Credit: PTI
Stray incidents of violence were on Thursday reported from various parts of Bengal where voting is underway in the sixth phase of assembly elections, but the overall poll situation was largely peaceful with 37.27 per cent turnout recorded till 11 am, an EC official said.
In Uttar Dinajpur's Chopra area, shots were reportedly fired after clashes broke out between activists of the TMC and the BJP over allegations of heckling by agents of a polling booth. Both the parties denied having used any firearm and blamed the opposition for the violence.
The office of the CEO has sought a report on the incident from the local administration.
Over 17% turnout in first two hours
About 17.19 per cent of voters exercised their franchise tilll 9 am, where polling is underway in 43 seats on Thursday, according to Election Comissiion sources.
Crude bombs explode in North 24 Parganas dt.
Several incidents of crude bombs explosions were reported n Barrackpore industrial belt in North 24 Parganas distriict today.
An unidentified body found from Habra Assembly constituency in North 24 Parganas district where polling in underway today. According to police officials it is not clear whether the death is related to poll-related violence or not.
Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress councillor Utpal Dasgupta was attacked at Bijpur Assembly segment in North 24 Parganas by unidentified persons.
PM Modi urges voters to exercise their franchise
Polling officials check the electronic voting machines at a distribution centre, on the eve of sixth phase of West Bengal Assembly Polls, in Krishnagar, Nadia (WB) , Wednesday, April 21, 2021. | Photo Credit: PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday urged eligible voters in West Bengal to exercise their franchise as the sixth phase of assembly polls got underway in the State.
"The people of West Bengal are voting to elect a new assembly. On the sixth phase today, urging those whose seats are polling to exercise their franchise," Mr. Modi tweeted.
Amid tight security, polling for 43 constituencies began in sixth phase of assembly elections in West Bengal on Thursday, April 22, 2021. Long queues were seen outside most of the polling boths even before the voting began.
In this phase, elections are being held in 17 seats in the North 24 Parganas district and nine seats in Nadia — most of which has a significant presence of the Matuas, who are crucial to the electoral success of any party in the State.
Not feasible to club remaining phases: Poll panel tells Trinamool
The Election Commission has told the Trinamool Congress that its suggestion of clubbing the last three phases of polling in the West Bengal Assembly elections due to the COVID-19 surge was “not feasible”. The EC’s response to a letter sent by Trinamool MP Derek O’ Brien came on the eve of the sixth phase of polling. The seventh and eighth phases are scheduled for April 26 and April 29.
Polling across crucial geographies
From the narrow stretch of land connecting north and south Bengal, often referred as 'chicken's neck', to the constituencies bordering Bangladesh in Nadia and North 24 Parganas districts, the sixth phase of polling in the State will be held across interesting geographies.
Several Assembly constituencies of Uttar Dinajpur like Chopra, Islampur, Goalpokhar and Chakulia border Bangladesh on one side and Bihar on another. The narrow stretch called ‘chicken's neck’ has a strategic importance and is also inhabited by people of all religions and ethnicities.
(With inputs from our Correspondent Shiv Sahay Singh and agencies)