Kolkata: Around 67.27 per cent electorate exercised their franchise till 1530 hours on Monday in the seventh phase West Bengal Assembly election to 34 seats to decide the fate of 268 candidates.
Official sources said Malda district recorded 70.14% polling, Murshidabad 72.66%, South Dinajpur 72.58 and West Bardhaman 62.42% and South Kolkata 52.97%.
Stray incidents of violence were reported from some areas where voting is underway for the seventh phase of the assembly elections in West Bengal.
Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee cast her vote at a polling booth in south Kolkata’s Bhabanipur.
The TMC supremo, a resident of Harish Chatterjee Street, exercised her franchise at a polling booth in Mitra Institution School around 3.50 pm. On a wheelchair, she briefly paused before photojournalists while coming out amid shouts of “Didi, Didi”, before boarding her car.
She also showed a victory sign towards the cameras.
A few incidents of scuffle were reported from the Asansol area, where Trinammol Congress (TMC) candidate Sayoni Ghosh claimed that BJP activists tried to jam booths.
The allegation was dubbed as baseless by BJP candidate Agnimitra Paul, who asserted, “Ghosh is making excuses sensing defeat”.
Ms Paul alleged that a Trinamool Congress polling agent was wearing a cap with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s photo on it, at polling booth in Baktarnagar High School.
She said that the presiding officer said he was unwell and didn’t see the cap.
“EC has said that you can’t wear anything that has your party’s symbol or a political leader’s picture. This is Mamata Banerjee’s trick. She knows people won’t vote for her. Her time is up,” Ms Paul added..
There was commotion in Rash Behari constituency after BJP candidate Lt Gen (retd) Subrata Saha’s agent Mohan Rao was accused of molesting women voters inside a polling booth in the New Alipore area, police said.
Mohan Rao was detained after several women voters claimed he tried to drag them holding their hands inside Bidya Bharati School, a police officer said.
“We have received a complaint in this regard and a probe is underway,” he said.
Rao, however, rubbished the allegations and said no such incident had taken place.
A Trinamool worker assaulted at Farakka in Murshidabad
Meanwhile, a voter died at Domkal in Murshidabad due to heat wave
In the Jamuria constituency in Paschim Bardhaman district, Left Front candidate Aishe Ghosh alleged that her party agents were stopped from entering the booth by TMC workers
Trinamool Congress candidate from Rashbehari (Kolkata) Debashis Kumar alleged that he was not allowed to enter many booths by central forces
BJP candidate from Raninagar Masuhara Khatun alleges attack on her car by TMC activists
BJP polling agent Sankar Sarkar alleged he was forcefully pushed out of booth no.91 by TMC members and made to leave the spot in Bakhra village of Ratua, Malda.
A TMC member said, “He is not a voter here so we asked him to leave respectfully. Nobody threatened him.”
TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee after cast his vote at Mitra Institution in Bhabanipur, said, “Extremely confident that Mamata Banerjee will be back with 2/3rd majority…People are dying but EC is conducting 8-phase polls to benefit a party.”
TMC candidate from Bhabanipur constituency, Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, after casts his vote at Manmatha Nath Nandan Boys and Girls School said, “People will vote for Mamata Banerjee and her projects as her development has reached all homes. This election is being held on those issues.”
“I have been in politics since 1962, but this is the first time I am voting for myself,” he added.
TMC MP Nusrat Jahan after cast her vote said, “Why was the Election Commission sleeping all this while? Only when Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided he won’t hold any public meetings, the EC decided to call off all public meetings. It listens to the prime minister and home minister more than anyone else,” she said.