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Amid violence, West Bengal records over 80 per cent polling in 8 Lok Sabha seats

Kolkata, PTI | Updated : 12 May 2019, 10:00 PM
Lok Sabha Elections in West Bengal (Photo Source: PTI)
Lok Sabha Elections in West Bengal (Photo Source: PTI)

Over 80 per cent of the 1,33,69,749 electorate exercised their franchise during Phase of Lok Sabha elections in eight parliamentary constituencies of West Bengal on Sunday, an election official said. "Except some incidents of disturbances in Keshpur, polling is mostly peaceful. We have sought reports from the district officials about the incidents," he added.

"In the eight Lok Sabha constituencies in the state, around 79.93 per cent of voters have cast their ballots till 5 pm," a senior official of the state CEO’s office told PTI.

Tamluk seat recorded the highest voter turnout at 82.99 per cent, followed by Bishnupur (SC) at 81.90 per cent, Jhargram (ST) at 81.68 per cent, Ghatal at 80.350 per cent, Kanthi at 80.06 per cent, Purulia at 78.64 per cent, Medinipore at 78.17 per cent and Bankura at 75.68 per cent, he said.

The eight constituencies are spread across five districts. There were reports of an attack on BJP’s Ghatal candidate, former IPS officer Bharati Ghosh, when she tried to enter a polling booth in Keshpur. Ghosh’s convoy was also targeted when locals started pelting stones and hurling bombs after she tried to enter another polling station in Keshpur.

One of her security guards was injured and a convoy vehicle damaged in the stone pelting following which the security officers allegedly restored to lathicharge. It was also alleged that a Trinamool Congress worker was injured in firing by personnel of the central forces, who were the BJP candidate. Ghosh, however, denied the allegation.

The official said, "So far we have not received reports of any firing. We are looking into it. Our officials in the districts have been asked to send details of the incidents of attacks on Bharati Ghosh quickly".

The CEO also sought a report after Ghosh was seen making a videography inside a polling booth at Pikurda in Keshpur. Ghosh’s vehicle was again blocked by locals when she tried to enter Keshpur market area. The state police personnel, posted in the area, intervened and her vehicle was seized.

"Her vehicle has no valid pass to move around the area on polling day. We cannot allow her to move around like this. It is a matter of security," the police officer said.

After the seizure of her vehicle, a large number of protestors gathered there and she took shelter inside a temple in Keshpur market area, with her security officers guarding her. The mob also pelted stones at the policemen who resorted to lathicharge to disperse them. Owners of shops in the market downed the shutters.

Ghosh was then taken to Keshpur police station to protect her from the wrath of the protestors. BJP’s candidate and state party president Dilip Ghosh also faced protests from locals when he tried to visit a polling booth in his constituency, Medinipore.

First Published: Sunday, May 12, 2019 09:38 PM
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