Only ‘Sporadic’ Incidents In Final Phase Of Polls: Bengal CEO


Kolkata: West Bengal’s Chief Electoral Officer Aariz Aftab on Sunday said with an average of 72.91 per cent voter turnout, the final phase of Lok Sabha election in West Bengal got over amidst “sporadic” incidents of violence.

“The seventh and final phase election in West Bengal got over except for some sporadic incidents,” he told reporters here.

He said presiding officers of three polling stations – of booth no 251 of Baruipur of Jadavpur constituency and of booths 181 and 89 of Falta – were removed after complaints.

In Baruipur, a local Trinamool Congress leader was seen helping voters cast their ballots.

Asked about the EVM glitches reported throughout the day, Aftab said: “The EVM malfunction was well within the permissible limit. Wherever it happened, the machines were replaced on time.”

Additional Director General, Law and Order, Siddhi Nath Gupta said that one FIR was been filed in this phase, while out of total 346 arrests, 322 were preventive arrests.

He also said that one candidate’s vehicle in Nodakhali and another candidate’s vehicle in Jadavpur area was vandalised.

The FIR was filed after the Nodakhali vandalism, Gupta said. In Diamond Harbour Constituency’s Nodakhali area, BJP candidate Nilanjan Roy’s car was vandalised.

About the disturbances during the bypoll to the Bhatpara assembly constituency, the he said: “Bombs were hurled at Bhatpara where two police vehicles overturned, one weapon was seized and 18 people were arrested from the spot.”

However, these disturbances in Bhatpara did not disrupt the voting process, the ADG added.

In total, six cases of injuries have been reported out of which three are from Bhatpara.

Regarding the handling of post-poll violence and guarding EVMs, Gupta said: “We are chalking out the plan. CAPFs will be deployed to guard the strong rooms. Based on inputs, we can increase forces. As of now, state’s law and order will be taken care by the state police.”

There were 48 companies of CAPF for strong rooms and now an additional 34 companies have been deployed.

“Today we received 3,497 complaints in total out of which 3,101 have been resolved and rest are being addressed,” Aftab added.

As of 5 p.m., Mathurapur recorded the highest polling percentage at 78.52 per cent, followed by Basirhat (77.77 per cent), Diamond Harbour (77.40 per cent), Jaynagar (75.81 per cent), Barasat (74.41 per cent), Dum Dum (73.05 per cent) Jadavpur (70.97 per cent), Kolkata South (67.09 per cent), Kolkata North (61.18 per cent).