West Bengal Assembly Elections 2016

80% polling in West Bengal first phase

Trinamool Congress workers at a booth camp in the Dharma area of Medinipur  

Eighteen Assembly constituencies in West Bengal — mostly in the Jangalmahal area affected by left-wing extremism — went to the polls in the first phase of the West Bengal Assembly Elections on Monday.

Thirteen of the 18 seats have been identified by the Election Commission as leftwing-extremism affected, with voting ending in these at 4 p.m. as these are sensitive. This is the first phase in a larger election season in which five States will go to the polls.

Latest updates:

6:00 pm: Registering a heavy turnout, an estimated 79 per cent electorate today cast their votes in the first part of the first phase of assembly polls in 18 West Bengal constituencies till 5 PM, Election Commission sources said.

5:00 pm: Heavy voter turnout was recorded with an estimated 70 per cent of 40.09 lakh electors casting their ballots in 18 of the state’s 294 constituencies where polling is in progress till 3:30 pm.

3:30 pm: "There were some issues with EVMs in some booths which were immediately addressed for smooth functioning," Additional Chief Electoral Officer Dibyendu Sarkar said.

2:15 pm: Brisk polling was observed in the in the 18 constituencies in three western districts of West Bengal here with almost percent 63.30 per cent votes cast till 1 p.m..

Polling began at 7 a.m. in these constituencies located in area popularly referred to as Jangalmahal region which is affected by Left wing Extremism amidst tight security measures. > Read more

1:45 pm: The average voting percentage as of 1 p.m. is 63.30 per cent

Paschim Medinipur - 65.45%

Purulia - 61.95%

Bankura - 62.15 %

1:30 pm: “There were some issues with EVMs in some booths which were immediately addressed and polling is going on smoothly. We got some other complaints also but they have been addressed,” Additional Chief Electoral Officer Dibyendu Sarkar said.

12:45 pm: The first four hours of polling in 18 constituencies of West Bengal, many of which are in Left-wing extremism-hit areas, witnessed a heavy turnout as more than 45 per cent people cast their votes till 11 am.

12:05 pm: Six things to watch out for in this polls: Can Mamata Banerjee retain her hold in West Bengal? Will the Congress-Left alliance click? What are the other things to watch out for this time around? > Click here

11:00 am: The average voting percentage as of 11 am is 45.14 per cent

Paschim Medinipur - 47.53%

Purulia - 43.43 %

Bankura - 45.02 %

10:30 am: CPI(M) candidate in Salboni Assembly seat Shyam Pandey alleged that their polling agents in two booths in the Teltoka area of the seat has been threatened and driven out of the booths by Trinamool Congress cadres.

9:55 am: In Salboni in Paschim Medinipur, two booths 143 and 191 are "captured' said CPI M candidate. District Magistrate denies allegation.

9:30 am: In Ranibandh area in Bankura district polling stopped in two schools.

Voting percentage as of 9 am:

Paschim Medinipur - 24%

Purulia - 22.5%

Bankura - 24%

9:15 am: Reasonable polling in first couple of hour. 24 % polling till 9 am. Polling peaceful so far in Dharma area of Midnapore town in Paschim Medinipur district. Locals said no violence has taken place yet

8:45 am: When asked about the main poll issues in Bengal, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat said, "Restoration of Democracy and secular values, security for women, people-centric development, including jobs, and an end to corruption." > Read full interview here

8: 30 am: Unlike in 2011 Assembly polls where the Trinamool Congress was its partner, the Congress this time has forged an alliance with the Left parties. All the three — Trinamool, Left—Congress alliance and BJP — have fielded candidates from all 18 seats.

8:00 am: A tight multi—layered security ring was thrown in the three districts of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura to tackle any threat by Maoists.

7:15 am: Total number of voters in the constituencies are a little over 40 lakh (40,09,171) out of which 20,47,202 are males. The third gender category list shows only a handful of 16 voters. There are total 4,945 polling stations out of which 1,962 have been classified as critical ones by the Election Commission.

A voter at Purulia Assembly constituency in West Bengal. Photo: ANI

7:10 am: Phase 1(a) of the election will decide the fate of 133 candidates, including 11 women, fighting from the 18 constituencies

7:00 am: Voting begins for first phase of Assembly polls in West Bengal for 18 constituencies.

6:45 am: 20% of Bengal candidates in Phase 1 face criminal cases, according to a report published by a civil society organisation.

Seventeen of the candidates faced “serious criminal cases” of murder, attempt to murder, rape, kidnapping, robbery and crimes against women. Three of the 18 candidates of the Bharatiya Janata Party; two of the 18 of the Trinamool Congress; two of the five of the Congress; and one of the 11 of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) face the serious cases. >Read more.

— Post Saradha scam in which lakhs of investors had been duped and the Narada sting operation, which has purportedly shown some leaders of Trinamool Congress (TMC) accepting bribes, the issue of corruption has evolved as the main poll plank for the Congress-Left Front alliance, apart from “restoration of democracy”.

In the first phase, out of the 133 candidates registered, three are crorepatis and 21 have criminal charges against them.

6:38 am: Meet the oldest candidate in West Bengal, Gyan Singh Sohan Pal. At 91, he is the eldest candidate in the fray in the State. > Read more.

— Campaigning for the initial part of the first phase of the West Bengal Assembly elections drew to a close on Saturday evening. > Read more.

6.35 am: For the Phase1(A), 133 candidates are in the fray in 18 Assembly Constituencies of three districts of West Bengal.

While the Trinamool Congress and the BJP have fielded candidates for all 18 seats, Communist Party of India(Marxist) nominated for 11 seats. > Read more.

Communist Party of India (Marxist)

13 seats (In alliance with Congress)

All India National Congress

5 seats (In alliance with CPI(M))

All India Trinamool Congress

18 seats

Bharatiya Janata Party

18 seats

6.30 am: The Trinamool Congress is, without doubt, the most powerful political force in the State and Mamata Banerjee the most popular political leader. It is seen as the behemoth and “democratic forces” are coalescing in a bid to best it at the hustings.

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Printable version | Jul 26, 2021 12:30:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/westbengal2016/live-phase-i-of-the-west-bengal-assembly-election/article8430400.ece

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