Violence mars 3rd phase of polling in West Bengal

RSTV Bureau
Polling Officials checking EVM machines at distribution centre

Polling Officials checking EVM machines at distribution centre

Nearly 57 per cent voters turned up in the third phase of assembly polls in Bengal up to 1 pm, beating weather elements and fear of poll-related violence.

According to election commission 17 seats of Nadia district registered 40.78 while in 16 seats of Burdwan it was 37.33, 42.99 per cent was recorded in the 22 seats of Murshidabad district while the lowest of 32.71 per cent was recorded in the first four hours.

The crucial third phase poll for the 62 seats in Bengal are being held at the fear of violence after two tragic incidents came to light in the early hours of polling.

A CPI-M polling agent in Murshidabad district of West Bengal lost his life in poll violence on Thursday during the third phase of Assembly elections.

35-year-old Tahidur Islam was found lying outside a polling booth in Shibapara area of of Domkal Assembly seat.

CPI (M) alleged that Tahidur was killed when bombs were hurled outside the polling booth which was however countered by District SP C Sudhakar.
While left parties blamed the killing on the ruling Trinamool Congress, the TMC said the death was a fallout of infighting between the alliance partners of Congress and Left Front.

Bankura: Central Force Jawan keeps vigil while voters stand in a queue to cast vote at a polling station during the 2nd phase West Bengal assembly elections in Bankura on Monday. PTI Photo

File photo of Central Force Jawan keeping vigil while voters stand in a queue to cast vote at a polling station .PTI Photo

Complaints of violence and voter intimidation outside poll booths were also reported in Kolkata’s Beleghata Assembly seat where police detained seven suspects.

In Burdwan two CPI (M) workers succumbed to injuries after a scuffle broke out in front of booth no 78. Both the injured were rushed to Ketugram Block Primary Health Centre.

Violence delayed polling in Katwa Assembly seat after two EVM machines were replaced when it started malfunctioning.

Election Commission deployed one lakh security personnel maintain law and order, polling which began at 7 AM in 16,461 polling stations will go on till 6 PM.

Over 1.37 voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in this phase to elect their legislators from among 418 candidates, including 34 women, spread over Murshidabad, Burdwan and Nadia districts and north Kolkata.

Key candidates in this phase include Trinamool ministers Shashi Panja and Sadhan Pande, BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha, five-time Congress MLA Md Sohrab, CPI-M MLA Anisur Rahman and retired IPS officer Nazrul Islam.