West Bengal elections phase 2 voting updates | Turnout crosses 80% at 5 p.m.

In the second phase of the eight-phase West Bengal assembly election, 30 seats are going to polls today.

Updated - April 01, 2021 08:12 pm IST

Published - April 01, 2021 07:12 am IST

Voting going on at Nandigram Brajamohon High School in West Bengal on April 1, 2021.

Voting going on at Nandigram Brajamohon High School in West Bengal on April 1, 2021.

All eyes are on Nandigram on Thursday where TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee is locked in a fierce prestige battle with confidante-turned-adversary Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP in the second of the eight-phase West Bengal assembly election.

Polling is taking place amid strict COVID-19 guidelines in nine seats of Paschim Medinipur, eight in Bankura, four seats in South 24 Parganas and nine seats in Purba Medinipur - the home ground Suvendu Adhikari. Nandigram falls within the Purba Medinipur district.

The Election Commision has declared as sensitive all the 10,620 polling booths in 30 constituencies spread over four districts where polls are being held.

Here are the live updates:

7 p.m.

Central agencies acting at Amit Shah's behest, says Mamata

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday accused the central forces deployed in her Nandigram constituency of helping the BJP under instructions of Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

She also alleged that Election Commission was following the instructions of Mr. Shah and not acting on complaints of alleged irregularities lodged by her party.

"The CRPF, BSF are acting under the instructions of Home Minister Amit Shah....they are only helping the BJP," she told reporters outside a polling station in Nandigram constituency.

She demanded that Shah, who had earlier campaigned for Suvendu Adhikari, her rival in Nandigram, must "control the BJP goons brought from outside".

"This is shameful. The people will give them a befitting reply. The way even women journalists have been heckled is disgraceful," she said.

5 p.m.

At 5 p.m. 80.43% of 75.94 lakh voters who are set to exercise their franchise in the second phase of the polls have cast their votes.

The polling percentage in various areas are South 24 pgs - 79.65%, Purba Medinipur - 81.23%, Paschim Medinipur - 78.02%, Bankura - 82.92% and  Nandigram - 80.79%

3.40 pm

EC seeks report over violence during polling in Bengal's Nandigram

The Election Commission of India on Thursday sought a detailed report from the administration in connection with an incident of violence in Boyal area in Nandigram where Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee paid a visit to oversee the polling process.

The West Bengal chief minister visited several booths across the high-profile Nandigram constituency, where she is pitted against her former lieutenant Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP.

As soon as Banerjee reached Boyal, BJP supporters started chanting 'Jai Shri Ram' slogans.

Supporters of the two parties then indulged in violence, as TMC leaders demanded re-polling in booth number 7, police said.

Central forces tried to restore law and peace in the area. - PTI

3 pm

Mamata Banerjee alleges irregularities in Nandigram

Alleging irregularities in the polling process in Nandigram, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said that she will approach the courts over the issue.

Ms. Banerjee, who is a candidate from Nandigram, reached a polling booth at Boyal in the Assembly segment, where allegations were made that her party polling agent was not allowed inside the booth.

“I have come here to prove that 80% of the votes have been rigged here. Since morning, about 63 complaints have been made but not a single action has been taken,” Ms. Banerjee told journalists at the polling booth.


1.30 pm

BJP candidate's car vandalised, 3 held

BJP candidate from Keshpur assembly constituency Tanmay Ghosh's vehicle was on Thursday vandalised allegedly by supporters of the Trinamool Congress, police said.

Three persons have been arrested in connection with the incident, they said.

An unidentified group of people attacked Mr. Ghosh's vehicle with bricks and bamboo sticks, and also vandalised cars of media personnel, a police officer said.

A team of central forces have reached the spot, an Election Commission official said.

The EC has also sought a report from the administration. - PTI

12 pm

37.42% voter turnout recorded till 11 a.m.

The second phase of polling in West Bengal's eight-phase elections, including in the high-stakes Nandigram seat, recorded a high voter turnout of 37.4% till 11 a.m.

Though the situation was tense in a few areas with a few skirmishes reported, tight security cover in all 30 constituencies which went to polls averted any major incidents.

"We have 37.42% voter turnout till 11 a.m. in all seats where polling is underway for the second phase. The polling so far has been peaceful," an Election Commission official said.

11.20 am

Mamata to stay for whole day, TMC complains agents not allowed in several booths

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee decided to stay at her war room in the Reyapara area during the polls on Thursday in the Nandigram assembly constituency where she is locked in a fierce prestige battle with confidante-turned-adversary Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP.

She is monitoring the situation in the high-profile constituency where polling began at 7 a.m. as local TMC leaders complained of their election agents not being allowed to enter several booths, according to the party sources.

Meanwhile, the TMC alleged that its polling agents have been threatened by the BJP in various booths in Nandigram Block 2.

"Our agents were not allowed to enter several polling booths in Nandigram Block -2. Voters have also been stopped from exercising their franchise in some areas. We will lodge complaints with the EC," a TMC leader said.

The BJP, however, denied these allegations. - PTI

11.00 am

BJP worker found dead in Nandigram

A BJP worker was found hanging at his home in Nandigram in West Bengal's Purba Medinipur district on Thursday, triggering tension in the area amid the high-profile election here, police said.

Uday Dubey was found hanging at his home in the Bhekutia area of Nandigram in the morning, they said.

Dubey was under tremendous stress as he was receiving threats from the TMC after he attended a roadshow of superstar Mithun Chakraborty who campaigned in the area in support of BJP candidate Suvendu Adhikari on March 30, BJP leaders alleged.

He could also have been hanged to death by TMC "goons", they alleged.

However, TMC denied the charges and hit out at the BJP for indulging in politics over a death.

"Dubey killed himself due to a family problem," a senior TMC leader claimed.


10 am

The State has recorded a voter turnout of 16% till 9 a.m. in the 30 seats where polling is underway.

9 am

TMC worker stabbed to death in Bengal's Keshpur

A Trinamool Congress worker was allegedly stabbed to death in West Bengal's Paschim Medinipur district in the early hours of Thursday, hours before polling started in the area, police said.

The incident triggered tension in the area, which has a history of political violence.

The Election Commission said that a report has been sought from district authorities over the incident.

Forces have been deployed in the locality to check any further flare-up, police said.

8.30 am

Mamata will lose, claims Suvendu after casting vote

BJP's heavyweight Nandigram candidate Suvendu Adhikari cast his vote soon after polling began on Thursday morning.

Riding a bike, Mr. Adhikari went to the Nandanayak Bar Primary School at around 7.30 a.m. to cast his vote.

Speaking to reporters, he said that he was confident that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is contesting the elections against him from the Nandigram seat, will lose the polls.

"I have a very old relationship with the people of the area. I have a personal relationship with almost every person in Nandigram. Pretty confident that I will win the election," Mr. Adhikari said. "Entire villages have come out to vote in favour of the BJP," he added.

Mr. Adhikari said that he went to the polling booth on a bike as the road was too narrow for a car. - PTI

8 am

PM urges people to vote in large numbers

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged people to vote in large numbers in the second phase of assembly polls in West Bengal to strengthen the festival of democracy. 

"Urging the people of West Bengal in whose seats there is polling taking place today to vote in record numbers," he wrote on Twitter. - PTI

7 am

Polling begins for 30 seats in second phase of Bengal

Polling began at 7 a.m. for 30 constituencies, including the high-profile Nandigram seat, in the second phase of the West Bengal assembly elections amid tight security, officials said.

Voting is underway with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols. Long queues were seen outside polling stations, where voting will continue till 6.30 p.m.

TMC and BJP are contesting all 30 seats, while the CPI(M) is in the fray in 15 constituencies and its alliance partners Congress and ISF are fighting in 13 and two seats, respectively, they said. - PTI


Prohibitory orders imposed in Nandigram constituency

The Election Commission has imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC in entire Nandigram assembly constituency in West Bengal on Wednesday.

A senior official of the poll body said the EC has also conducted air surveillance in the area with the help of a helicopter in view of the sensitivity of the area and people who are not voters of Nandigram are being barred from entering it, the official said.

"Nandigram is a sensitive constituency with high profile candidates like Mamata Banerjee and Suvendu Adhikari (of BJP). We want to ensure that the law and order situation is not compromised and people can vote freely without fear," the official told PTI .

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