66 per cent turnout till 3 pm in WB, polling peaceful

Kolkata, April 27: An estimated 66 per cent turnout was recorded till 3 pm in 75 Assembly constituencies in the metropolis and adjoining North and South 24-Parganas districts of West Bengal which went to polls in the third phase today (April 27).

"66 per cent average polling was recorded till 3 pm," Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Kumar Gupta said.

He said there were no reports of any major untoward incident from anywhere. Over 60,000 personnel of central security forces were deployed in the three districts to ensure peaceful polling.

Around 69 per cent polling was recorded in South 24 Parganas, 65 per cent in North 24 Parganas and 54 per cent in Kolkata. The total electorate in the 75 seats is 1.44 crore.

Complaints of malfunctioning of EVMs were reported from some places and the voting machines were promptly replaced, the CEO said.

Additional CEO N K Sahana said 17 presiding officers were replaced following complaints of flouting of EC rules.

Of them, 16 were from Bagda, Bongaon, Gaighata and Bidhannagar in North 24-Parganas district and one from Kolkata.

Prominent candidates in the fray include Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta, Leader of the Opposition Partha Chaterjee, Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee and former FICCI secretary general Amit Mitra.

Reports from North 24 Parganas, quoting the police, said the CPI(M) office at Bijpur was ransacked by supporters of a rival political party.

Police said a CPI(M) polling agent was injured in an attack outside a booth at Bijpur.

A powerful bomb was recovered from a garden near a booth in Barasat in North 24 Parganas. It was defused by the police.

One person was arrested from Panihati for false voting and another from Jagaddal for causing disturbance, the reports said.

Police said two elderly women died of sunstroke when they went to cast their vote at Kultali and Canning in South 24-Parganas district.


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