Kolkata: An estimated 34.87 per cent of over 80 lakh electorate exercised their franchise till 11 am in five Lok Sabha constituencies of West Bengal, amid reports of sporadic violence from isolated places of Murshidabad and Balurghat, an election official said.
Barring a few incidents of clashes and bombings, polling has largely been peaceful in the five parliamentary seats – Balurghat, Maldaha Uttar, Maldaha Dakshin, Jangipur and Murshidabad, he said.
“Three people were injured in two incidents of bombing in Domkal area and adjoining Tiktikipara in Murshidabad. They have been hospitalised and we have a sought a report on the matter from the district magistrate. No one has been arrested or detained so far,” the official said.
Bombs were also reportedly hurled outside a booth in Kushmundi area of Balurghat seat, leading to commotion, he said, adding that central forces allegedly lathicharged a mob in Suti area of Jangipur.
The Election Commission has deployed 324 companies of central forces to cover over 92 per cent of the 8,528 polling booths in the five seats.
“Voting in underway in a peaceful manner in the five Lok Sabha constituencies of West Bengal. There were reports of violence from two places, and we have initiated appropriate measures to take care of the matter. The turnout has been satisfactory so far,” he told PTI.
According to the poll official, Balurghat registered maximum polling till 11 am at 37.38 per cent, followed by Jangipur at 36.74, Murshidabad at 33.74 per cent and Maldaha Dakshin at 32.37 per cent
Maldaha Uttar recorded the lowest voter turnout so far at 32.17 per cent. Altogether, 80,23,852 electorate will seal the fate of 61 candidates in the third phase of the staggered elections.
Besides general election observers and expenditure observers, the poll panel has for the first time deployed a special police observer and a special observer. Prominent among those in the Tuesday’s fray are sitting MPs and TMC candidates – Arpita Ghosh from Balurghat and Mausam Benazir Noor from Maldaha Uttar – Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee’s son Abhijit from Jangipur and BJP’s Humayun Kabir.