Polling underway in West Bengal’s 5th Phase

RSTV Bureau

Voters lined in queues at polling booths in West Bengal during Assembly elections.

Polling is underway in 53 constituencies in West Bengal for the fifth phase of Assembly Elections. Out of the 53 seats, 31 constituencies are in South 24 Parganas, 18 in Hooghly districts besides four in South Kolkata.

As per the latest information available with the election commission 54.75% votes have been polled till 1 PM.

People are lining up in queues on the weekend day poll from 7 AM, where 1.2 crore voters are eligible to cast use their franchise.

The Election Commission sources said elaborate arrangements have been made to check violence and ensure a free and fair poll.

90,000 strong contingents of central and state police forces will be deployed by the Election Commission for the crucial phase where prohibitory orders under 144 CrPc are also in force. Check nakas have been set up at various entry points where vehicles are being frisked by police and central forces.

“We will do everything to conduct peaceful elections on Saturday. No nuisance will be allowed and we will deal with anybody trying to disrupt the situation very strictly,” said a senior Kolkata police officer.

Despite the massive arrangements made by police officials, a several crude bombs were found from different parts of the city during random check by Kolkata Police.

Security personnel patrol during 5th phase of West Bengal Assembly elections in Kolkata.Photo-PTI

Security personnel patrol during 5th phase of West Bengal Assembly elections in Kolkata.Photo-PTI

Four persons have been detained in connection with the recoveries, a senior police officer said.

“The bombs have been defused and we are conducting check in the neighbourhood as well. Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) and sniffer dogs are being used for the purpose. We have detained four people for questioning,” said the Official.

A number of political heavyweights, including Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, key ministers like Subrata Mukherjee, Firhad Hakim, Manish Gupta, Partha Chatterjee,Javed Ahmed Khan and city mayor Sovan Chatterjee will try their luck in this phase of election.

Altogether 349 candidates, including 43 women, are in the fray for tomorrow’s election in three districts–Kolkata, South 24 Parganas and Hooghly.

All eyes are on the Bhawanipur Assembly seat in Kolkata where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is facing a triangular contest  from Congress heavyweight and former Union Minister Deepa Dasmunsi  and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’ grand nephew, Chandra Bose of Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP].

In 2014 Lok Sabha poll, TMC got 49 out of 53 Assembly segments going to poll on Saturday.  The last phase of the six phase assembly election in Bengal will conclude on May 5 and counting on May 19.