Kolkata, April 17: Fifty-six constituencies in seven districts of West Bengal are gong to polls on Sunday (April 17) in the second of the six-phase election. Polling took place in 49 seats in the two sub-phases of phase 1 held on April 4 and 11.
- Assembly Polls 2016 Full Coverage
- Top issues of Bengal Polls 2016
- High-profile candidates of Bengal poll Phase 2
- Top contest of the day: Baichung Bhutia vs Asok Bhattacharya
- Why April 17 polling is an acid test for Mamata
Bengal Phase 2 in brief:
Districts: Seven [Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling, North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur, Malda, Birbhum]
Total candidates: 383
Women candidates: 33
Total No. of voters: 1.22 crore
Women voters: 58.91 lakh
Most No. of candidates: Sujapur (Malda)
Least No. of candidates: Labhpur (Birbhum)
Max voters: Dabgram-Fulbari (Darjeeling)
Min voters: Balurghat (South Dinajpur)
EVMs: 13,645 [VVPAT 1,711]
Party-wise candidates: Trinamool - 55, BJP - 53, BSP - 43, Left - 34, Congress - 23
End of updates.
7.40 pm: Total turnout in Phase 2 as of 5 pm is 79.70 per cent.
Alipurduar: 82.07%; Jalpaiguri: 77.69%; Darjeeling: 74%, North Dinajpur: 78.90%; South Dinajpur: 82.72%; Malda: 79.60%; Birbhum: 82.89%
7.20 pm: PM Narendra Modi lashes out at Trinamool Congress and the Left-Congress alliance at his rally in Kolkata. "Bengal hasn't changed, Mamata Banerjee has," he said.
7.19 pm: It has been proved in today's poll phase that TMC is in a shambles in North Bengal, says state Cong chief Adhir Chowdhury.
6.54 pm: EC files FIR against Mamata Banerjee's strongman Anubrata Mandal for challenging it. The FIR has been filed under Section 188 of the IPC.
6:00 pm: Polling concludes.
5.00 pm: 70.82% voter turnout till 3 pm.
Alipurduar: 73.65%; Jalpaiguri: 67.93%; Darjeeling: 66.73%, North Dinajpur: 70.37%; South Dinajpur: 74.78%; Malda: 68.67%; Birbhum: 73.59%
6.16 pm: Polling for 2nd phase of assembly elections in West Bengal almost conclused.
4.34 pm: The BJP asked the EC to remove the chief electoral officer of West Bengal, accusing him of "allowing TMC to violate electoral laws".
4.30 pm: EC seeks report on BJP candidate Locket Chatterjee's shouting at a presiding officer in her constituency Mayureshwar.
4.16 pm: TMC poll agent accused of using a fake EVM to influence voters in Itahar constituency in North Dinajpur constituency.
4.15 pm: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee retaliates against Modi's speech at a rally in Mangalkot in Burdwan. "Modibabu is coming and giving us lectures," she said, asking why the Centre reduced interest in small-time savings.
3.27 pm: PM Narendra Modi tears into Mamata Banerjee at an election rally in Krishnagar in Nadia district which will go to polls on April 21. "She and her party have already surrendered and hence they are fighting the EC now," he said.
2.56 pm: EC has received around 800 complaints till 1 pm. It has solved 600 of them.
2.44 pm: 55.28% voter turnout till 1 pm.
Alipurduar: 45.56%; Jalpaiguri: 59.98%; Darjeeling: 53.03%, North Dinajpur: 55.50%; South Dinajpur: 56.09%; Malda: 54.33%; Birbhum: 62.49%
2.36 pm: In a reversal of the trend, Trinamool agent arrives at a polling booth in Nanur seven hours after the election began. He was brought to the booth by the local candidate. TMC's factional feud is held responsible for the incident as it was said the disseident groups did not allow the agent to arrive at the booth on time.
2.20 pm: BJP candidate from Mayureswar Locket Chatterjee slams a presiding officer charges of rigging. "Why are you doing this damage to the state," a livid Chatterjee asks the officer.
2.04 pm: PM Narendra Modi arrives in Kolkata. He met Swami Atmasthananda, president of the Ramakrishna Mission, in a hospital. He will address two rallies in the state on Sunday.
2.03 pm: Poll worker dies of hear attack in Kumargram constituency in Alipurduar.
12.40 pm: 39.19% voter turnout till 11 am.
Alipurduar: 36.28%; Jalpaiguri: 40.71%; Darjeeling: 36.06%, North Dinajpur: 38%; South Dinajpur: 40.08%; Malda: 38.30%; Birbhum: 44.88%
12.35 pm: BJP delegates to meet EC at 1 pm over Birbhum incident. The party wants polling in all 11 seats in the district cancelled.
12.30 pm: No Siliguri Model will work after election, says TMC's Siliguri candidate Baichung Bhutia.
12.07 pm: Birbhum district TMC chief Anubrata Mandal casts vote with his party badge on. Opposition parties have no polling agents in the booth, says official. When asked, Mandal once said he had taken off the badge when voting. Then again, he said the channels were showing old photographs.
12.02 pm: All parties accused of giving food to voters after they cast their ballots in Birbhum district. Ruling TMC was even accused of distributing rasgullas.
11.24 am: EC receives 449 complaints till 10.30 am.
11.23 am: Congress leader held for beating up TMC polling agent in Malda constituency.
11.00 am: 21.64% voter turnout till 9 am.
Alipurduar: 20.66%; Jalpaiguri: 20.45%; Darjeeling: 19%, North Dinajpur: 24%; South Dinajpur: 25.30%; Malda: 18.32%; Birbhum: 23.69%
10.35 am: TMC's Baichung Bhutia accused of influencing voters in Siliguri constituency; his Left opponent Asok Bhattacharya complains.
10.19 am: Not a single vote has been cast in three hours in Kaliaganj in North Dinajpur since voters decided to boycott this poll to protest lack of roads.
10.13 am: Forward Bloc accused of taking voters to booths in vehicles and also giving them tea and biscuits in Chakulia in North Dinajpur, says an ETV Bangla news report.
9.55 am: A Trinamool supporter accused of casting vote for a woman in a booth in Englishbazaar in Malda district; presiding officer removed.
9.43 am: PM Modi to campaign in Kolkata and Krishnagar in Nadia district later today. Seven constituencies in Kolkata and all 17 in Nadia will go to polls on April 21, Thursday.
9.40 am: It's raining in Siliguri constituency. The temperature is moderate in districts going to polls today. Temperature now: Alipurduar 27 degree C, Jalpaiguri 27 degree C, Darjeeling 18 degree C, North Dinajpur 28 degree C, South Dinajpur 26 degree C, Malda 27 degree C, Birbhum 32 degree C.
9.30 am: EC gets 200 complaints in first two hour of polling. In Phase 1B, the number exceeded 1,500.
9.25 am: Two central force personnel allegedly harassed by 2 TMC leaders in Birbhum.
9.09 am: Congress office vandalised in Raiganj in North Dinajpur; polling resumes after a temporary pause. Thrree persons were arrested for allegedly attacking Left supporters in Ilambazar in Bolpur constituency. Two of them belong to the TMC while one to the BJP.
8.50 am: In 2011, I could see people losing faith in us. This time, I can feel they are welcoming us. It is a positive environment, former minister and heavyweight Left candidate from Siliguri Asok Bhattacharya told news channels after casting his vote.
8.40 am: Minister and candidate from Dabgram-Fulbari Gautam Deb casts his vote.
8.35 am: Kalimpong Jan Andolan Party candidate Harka Bahadur Chhetri casts his vote; in 2011, he won by over 1 lakh votes for the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM). He left the GJM and floated the JAP earlier this year. [Harka Bahadur Chhetri to give GJM a tough fight in Hills]
8.30 am: Singer Soumitra Roy contesting for TMC in Chanchal; he contested the 2014 Lok Sabha election from Malda North for TMC but lost. [Other heavy-weight candidates of April 17 phase]
8.20 am: Mamata Banerjee's strongman in Birbhum Anubrata Mondal is under central forces' monitoring; a new magistrate is in charge today.
7.56 am: TMC cadres accused of intimidating Congress workers in Raiganj constituency in North Dinajpur.
7.55 am: Polling did not start in a booth in Englishbazar constituency in Malda even at 7.30 pm since the agent didn't turn up on time.
7.45 am: Central forces encouraging voters in Nanur in Birbhum district to vote without fear. reports of Opposition workers and supporters being targeted by the ruling party cadres have come from this constituency although sources in the TMC have rubbished such charges.
7.42 am: Eyes will be on Sujapur in Malda district where two relatives of late Congress stalwart ABA Ghani Khan Choudhury -- affectionately called Barkatda -- are locking horns.
Choudhury's younger brother Abu Nasar Khan Choudhury is contesting for the Trinamool and his opponent is his nephew Isha Khan Choudhury, who is contesting for the Congress.
Other notable candidates are state ministers Gautam Deb (Dabgram-Pulbari), Krishnendu Narayan Choudhury (English Bazar), Sabitri Mitra (Manikchak) -- all from the Trinamool Congress, and BJP's actress candidates Locket Chatterjee (Mayureswar) and Joy Banerjee (Suri).
7.40 am: Former minister Asok Bhattacharya appears to cast his ballot in Siliguri. His opponent is former Indian footbaal captain Baichung Bhutia.
As Phase II of the West Bengal polls begins, I urge all those voting today to turnout in record numbers & vote.
As Phase II of the West Bengal polls begins, I urge all those voting today to turnout in record numbers & vote.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 17, 2016
7.34 am: Left agent in Bolpur constituency in Birbhum attacked with sticks. He is admitted in hospital with a fractured head.
7.29 am: Reports of Opposition candidates, agents and voters being intimidated coming in from various constituencies in North and South Bengal.
7.15 am: Polling will take place till 6 pm in all constituencies except the 11 in Birbhum where it will take place till 4 pm.
7.05 am: Polling has begun.