West Bengal registered a turnout of 78.36% until 6:30 p.m. in the fifth round of the Assembly election on Saturday, April 17. Chief Electoral Officer Ariz Aftab said voting “went peacefully” at 15,789 polling stations in 45 constituencies.
Voting took place in six districts – Jalpaiguri, Kalimpong, Darjeeling, Nadia, North 24 Parganas and Purba Bardhaman. Jalpaiguri registered the highest turnout with 81.71%, while Purba Bardhaman and Nadia registered 81.67% and 81.50%.
A total of 319 candidates, including 38 women, participated in this phase. Among the 45 constituencies, Maynaguri recorded the highest turnout with 85.65%, while Matigara-Naxalbari constituency recorded 81.65% and Barasat 77.71%. Bidhanagar saw 61.10 percent of voters and Siliguri 74.83 percent turnout.
The Election Commission (EC) had invoked powers under Article 324 to reduce the campaign timeline to curb the spread of COVID-19, extending the period of silence to 72 hours for the remaining three phases.
The fourth phase of the ballot was marked by violence in which five people were killed. Few minor incidents were reported on Saturday during the fifth phase of the elections.
Aftab said a domestically manufactured firearm was recovered from booths 44 and 45A in Ranaghat. Police seized the gun and an independent candidate Kaushik Bhaumik was arrested.
“In Ranaghat, a man was assaulted and he was injured in his left leg. He was admitted to Shantipur State General Hospital. His condition is stable and three people have been arrested in this regard. Another man’s house was damaged in Ranaghat. Two people were arrested, “he added.
Residents of Deganga constituency claimed that central forces opened fire in the area and chased people from a polling station, although no one was injured. They also claimed that forces vandalized polling station number 81 in Kumarpur in Deganga constituency.
However, the Barasat Police Superintendent (SP) wrote a letter to the West Bengal Police Special Observer, claiming that the allegation of blank shootings in Deganga constituency “was not based on facts. “.
A small scuffle between supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) was reported earlier in Bidhannagar.
“TMC morons arrested me here in Nayapatti. They also arrest voters,” Bidhannagar BJP candidate Sabyasachi Dutta told ANI.
TMC candidate Sujit Bose blamed BJP workers. “Two of our members were injured in stone throws by BJP supporters at booths 265 and 272. We informed the election observer and the police. The situation is now normal,” Bose told the ANI.
Voting for the sixth of eight elections in the state will take place on April 22.