Kolkata, Apr 29 (GCCurrentAffairs) An estimated 17 per cent of 1,34,56,491 electorate exercised their franchise inthe first two hours this morning to decide the fate of 68 candidates in the fourth of the seven-phase
election to eight South Bengal Lok Sabha seats of Baharampur, Krishnanagar, Ranaghat, Bardhaman Purba, Bardhaman–Durgapur, Asansol, Bolpur and Birbhum.
Polling started at 0700 hrs and it will continue till 1800 hrs.
Voters were witnessed reaching their respective booths well before the start of the polling . Long queues were witnessed at several booths at 0630 hours.
Due to the severe heatwave conditions people were trying to cast their votes early.
While Baharampore recorded around 18.10 per cent polling, Krishnagar 17.27 per cent, Ranaghat 16.94 per cent, Bardhaman East 18.24 per cent, Bardhaman-Durgapur 16.12 per cent, Asansol 17.50 per cent, Bolpur 17.09 per cent and Birbhum 13.61 per cent in the first two hours.
More than 1076 polling-related complaints were received during this period of which 1006 have already been disposed of, official sources said.
Menwhile, the EC sought report as to what Union Minister and Asansol BJP candidate Babul Supriyo was doing at Baraboni booth. Babul faced protest demonstration as he challeged alleged false
voting at the booth.
His car was vansalised and windshield broken. Babul alleged TMC goons perpetrated this and said the BJP agents were prevented from entering the booth.
Reports of clashes between TMC workers and security personnel poured in from polling booth number 199 in Asansol.
A TMC polling agent said,’No BJP polling agent was present at the booth.’
A report said TMC strongman and Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal alias Kesto has been under house surveillace. Securitymen have been keeping watch around his home and video
phtography showed he was not seen outside so far when report came in at 10 AM.
Birbhum BJP candiadate Doodh Kumar Mondal is also under the Commission scanner as he was seen using mobile inside a booth.
Presiding officer at Mayureswar booth was removed after this incident. Bombs were found at Santipur in Nadia district which was later defused.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Trinamool Congress (TMC), Indian National Congress (INC) and the Left Front fielded their candidates in all the eight constituencies.
There was high pitch campaigning for the eight seats by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, BJP national president Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his Tripura counterpart Biplab Deb, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and other top leaders of the parties.
The high-pitched campaign was mainly polarized between Ms Banerjee and Mr Modi. Issues ranging from corruption to communalism, NRC to chit fund scams and development to security featured in the speeches of the warring party leaders.
The TMC supremo called upon the people to defeat the Modi government while the Prime Minister urged voters to exercise their franchise in his party’s favour.
Prominent candidates contesting the fourth phase Lok Sabha elections are former West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee president and former Union minister Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury from Baharampur, BJP candidate and Union Minister Surinderjeet Singh Ahluwalia from Bardhaman –Durgapur, Singer-cum-Union Minister & BJP candidate Babul Supriyo and TMC candidate veteran actress Moon Moon Sen from Asansol, former CPI(M) MP Dr Ram Chandra Dome from Bolpur and veteran actress-cum-sitting TMC MP Shatabdi Roy.
Meanwhile, citing a voting-related murder of an electorate in the third phase election, the Election Commission actively considered 100 per cent deployment of central armed forces to eight Lok Sabha seats during this phase of polling.
Altogether 580 companies of para-military forces are deployed in these Lok Sabha segments spreading in four South Bengal districts.
With the increased deployment of central forces in phases from first on April 11, the poll body this time is considering to take no chance after a voter Tearul Sheikh was lynched some 100 mt from a Bhagwangola polling booth in Murshidabad in the third phase.
Besides general election observers and expenditure observers, the poll panel has for the first time deployed a special police observer.
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