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Seventy per cent turnout in cool Bengal polling

Written by: Staff

Kolkata, Apr 27 (UNI) More than 70 per cent electorate cast votes in the third phase of Bengal Assembly elections today as Kolkata and its two adjoining districts witnessed a cool polling, unscathed by the allegation of rigging.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Debasish Sen said barring a few minor incidents, the polling was 'peaceful, smooth and free'.

Mr Sen said polling was continuing in many booths even after 1700 hrs with voters waiting in long queues in many areas indicating that the final percentage would go up.

While Kolkata recorded 63 per cent poling, 72 per cent votes were polled in North 24 Parganas and 74 per cent in South 24 Parganas, he said.

The CEO admitted that names of some genuine voters could have been omitted from the electoral rolls during the process of revision in which 1.3 million names were dropped.

CPI (M) State Committee Secretary Biman Basu said a joint effort of the people and the administration made possible a free and fair polling.

He, however, alleged that the pace of polling was very slow because of rigorous checking of voters' identity while many genuine voters could not exercise their franchise as their names had been removed from the electoral rolls.

Trinamool Congress General Secretary Mukul Roy alleged that in many areas CPI (M) workers cast false votes while intimidating Trinamool supporters against going to polling booths.

However, expressing satisfaction at the polling, Pradesh Congress Working President Pradip Bhattacharjee said except a few, he had not received any major complaints.


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