About 80 pc polling till 1700 hrs in Bengal
About 80 per cent of the electorate exercised their franchise till 1700 hrs in nine West Bengal constituencies which went to polls for the third phase of Lok Sabha elections today.
The Election Commission said on an average 79.60 per cent voting was recorded, when the polling was supposed to end. However, the figure would rise further as in many booths people were still waiting to cast their votes, they said.
The EC office said till 1700 hrs 71.92 per cent voting was recorded in Howrah, 80.18 per cent in Hooghly, 82.85 per cent in Birbhum, 72.57 per cent in Srirampur, 81.81 per cent in Arambagh, 8.18 per cent in Bardhaman Purba, 81.81 per cent in Bardhaman-Durgapur, 81.43 per cent in Bolpur and 78 per cent in Uluberia.
Alleging widespread rigging, booth capturing by ruling Trinamool Congress activists, Leader of the Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly Surjyakanta Mishra said the Left Front would demand repolling in 326 booths.
He also said the central forces were not properly deployed to ensure free and fair polling.
Earlier, Left Front Chairman Biman Basu also alleged that incidents of booth capturing took place in Uluberia, Srirampur, Arambagh, Bolpur, Birbhum, Bardhaman Purba and Bardhaman-Durgapur constituencies as Trinamool Congress activists drove away the polling agents of opposition parties. The Congress and the BJP also made similar allegations.
However, Election Commission special observer to West Bengal Sudhir Kumar Rakesh said the polling was 'free and fair.' He said most of the allegations the commission received were found to be not true.
"Polling for the third phase election in nine Lok Sabha constituencies was free and fair.There has been no such incident that could vitiate the whole poll process of any constituency,' he told reporters.
(Posted on 30-04-2014)