60 per cent turnout till 1 PM in Bengal

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Kolkata, April 11: Amid reports of stray incidents of violence in some pockets, an estimated 60 per cent voters today exercised their franchise till 1 PM in 31 assembly constituencies in three districts of West Bengal in part two of the first phase of election.

Election Commission officials here said an average 60 per cent polling was recorded in Bankura, West Midnapore and Burdwan districts till 1 PM as people queued outside polling booths since morning to cast their votes. West Midnapore recorded 65 per cent turnout, Bankura 57.6 per cent and Burdwan 56.7 per cent, officials said.

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A large number of people lined up in front of the polling booths even before 7 AM when voting began to beat the sweltering heat as day temperatures are above 40 degrees C due to a heatwave.

Sporadic incidents of violence were reported from polling booths in Jamuria Assembly constituency in Burdwan.

A CPI(M) agent was injured after he was allegedly beaten up by Trinamool Congress workers and obstructed from entering a polling booth in Jamuria.

TMC denied the allegation. Two bags containing bombs were found near a polling booth in Jamuria by police. Polling was disrupted for some time at a booth in Pandaveswar constituency in Burdwan district when a polling officer Parimal Bauri died of heart attack.

Voting resumed after another officer took charge. Seven EVMs were found to be malfunctioning at Barjora, two at Bankura and three at Chatna constituency before polling began in Bankura district. The EVMs were replaced quickly.

One EVM developed problem during voting at Chatna which was also replaced. Surjya Kanta Mishra, CPI-M state secretary and sitting MLA from Narayangarh seat was among the early voters. Repoll in two booths of Bankura and West Midnapore districts, where polling was held in the first part of the first phase poll on April 4, is also being held today.

PTI

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