West Bengal: 80.3 per cent polling recorded till 5 pm

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Kolkata, April 24: Nearly 80.3 per cent votes were cast till 5 PM in West Bengal, where polling is underway in six parliamentary constituencies in the second phase of the five-phase elections to decide the fate of 78 candidates.

"On an average 69.61 per cent of the total 83,18,348 voters have cast their votes in the first five hours of polling in the six constituencies of Raiganj, Balurghat, Malda North, Malda South, Jangipur and Murshidabad in North Bengal," state Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Gupta said today.

Raiganj witnessed 67.65 per cent polling in the first eight hours, while Balurghat recorded 70.39 per cent, Malda North 69.19 per cent, Malda South 68.62 per cent, Jangipur 68.85 per cent and Murshidabad 70.73 per cent voting.

Barring some stray incidents and replacement of 28 EVMs during mock polling and thereafter due to malfunctioning in a number of booths, voting has been peaceful except, Gupta said.

The Election Commission today removed three presiding officers under Sagardighi Assembly segment of Jangipur parliamentary constituency for giving indulgence to TMC candidate Sk Nurul Islam and his followers and allowing them inside the polling premises flouting section 144 of CrPC.

A case has already been initiated against the TMC candidate and his followers, while a large number of vehicles used by them illegally were seized, Gupta said.

"We have not yet received report of any other major incident regarding disruption of law and order or complaint of booth jamming or violation of the model code of conduct," he said.

A complaint has been lodged with the Election Commission by RSP for malfunction of EVM at a booth near Itahar alleging only TMC candidate from Balurghat Arpita Ghosh's votes were getting recorded in the machine.

The CEO ruled out the allegation saying the way the complaint was lodged was not correct.

"It was a case of malfunctioning of the EVM and we replaced it immediately. Polling also began immediately after a brief halt," the CEO added.

PTI

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