About 85% turnout in Bengal final phase

EC orders lodging FIRs against two TMC candidates

Updated - September 12, 2016 01:40 pm IST

Published - May 06, 2016 02:14 am IST - Kolkata:

Residents of enclave Mosaldanga on the way to exercise their vote for the first time in their lives.

Residents of enclave Mosaldanga on the way to exercise their vote for the first time in their lives.

Nearly 85 per cent of the votes were polled till 5 p.m. in the final phase of the West Bengal Assembly elections in 25 constituencies of Cooch Behar and Purba Medinipur districts on Thursday. Apart from some sporadic incidents, the voting was peaceful.

“In the sixth phase, 84.24 per cent votes were polled till 5 p.m. While the voter turnout in Cooch Behar is 82.71 per cent, in Purba Medinipur the figure stands at 85.09,” Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Gupta said. In the erstwhile enclaves, the percentage was 85.

The Election Commission ordered filing of FIRs against Trinamool candidates Rabindranath Ghosh from Natabari and Udayan Guha from Dinhata in Cooch Behar.

“While two FIRs were lodged against Mr. Ghosh for going near the EVM and threatening the presiding officer, Mr. Guha has been accused of entering the polling compartment and obstructing government officials from discharging their duty,” Inspector-General of Police (Law and Order) Anuj Sharma said.

In video footage aired by a television channel, Mr. Guha, who quit the All India Forward Bloc and joined the Trinamool last year, is seen entering a booth and getting close to the EVM counter as two women cast vote. He was seen asking one of the women to move out of the EVM counter and tell the other woman on which symbol to vote. Mr. Ghosh was seen intimidating a polling official and threatening a jawan.

In Dinhata, a presiding officer was shunted out for failing to control undue interference in the polling process.

“Poll boycott took place in two booths in the Moyna seat in Purba Medinipur district over local development issues,” Mr. Gupta said.

30 arrested

There were allegations against the Trinamool Congress of assaulting Opposition polling agents in the Tufanganj area of Cooch Behar. In the Moyna seat, five Trinamool workers allegedly tried to intimidate voters.

The Opposition accused the Trinamool of bringing in outsiders to intimidate voters in the Ramnagar Assembly seat in Purba Medinipur district.

Thirty persons were arrested, of which 28 were from Purba Medinipur and two were from Cooch Behar.

Trinamool man shot

In post-poll violence, a Trinamool worker was shot in the Baharampur area of Murshidabad. Bapi Sarkar (55) has been shifted to hospital.

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