Kolkata, April 4: 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 in the first of the six-phase Assembly elections.
Election Commission officials said the polling percentage was 45.14 per cent in the three districts of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura till 11 AM as people queued outside polling booths since morning to exercise their franchise. So far there has been no reports of any violence or disturbance.
"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.
Out of the 18 seats, 13 are being treated as LWE-affected areas by the poll watchdog where voting will end early at 4 PM due to security considerations. In the remaining five constituencies of Purulia, Manbazar, Kashipur, Para and Raghunathpur voting will go on for two extra hours till 6 PM.
For aerial surveillance, two choppers have been conducting regular sorties.