West Bengal polls: Voter turnout in fifth phase to exceed 83%
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Voter turnout during the fifth phase of the West Bengal Assembly elections today in four Maoist-hit districts known as the 'red fort', is likely to cross 83 per cent and was by and large peaceful.
The fate of health minister and CPI(M) stalwart Suryakanta Mishra and WBPCC president Manas Bhunia, who were among the 193 candidates in 38 seats in four districts, were sealed in EVMs.
The Left Front's stake is high in these constituencies because in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls its defeat at the hands of the Trinamool Congress in south Bengal notwithstanding, these seats were uninfluenced by the winds of change blowing across the state.
"At the close of voting hours, queues were seen in several booths. Till five pm, the turnout percentage was 80.19 per cent. It will exceed 83 per cent after all votes are cast," state CEO Sunil Kr Gupta said.
Two helicopters kept aerial surveillance of the booths and there was no disruption in the polling process anywhere in parts of West Midnapur, besides Bankura, Burdwan and Purulia districts, he said.
Polling was by and large peaceful except for some stray incidents, he said.
In Debra in West Midnapur, the police dispersed supporters of Trinamool Congress and CPI(M) engaged in scuffling and brick-batting outside a polling booth. One
CPI(M) supporter was injured, Gupta said.
He said 10 arrests and 109 preventive arrests were made, but no political arrest was made.
In Keshpur, the police drove away a crowd which assembled outside a booth, he said.
Gupta said 62 EVMs were replaced during mock poll and when the polling process was underway.
A journalist belonging to PTI and another to a Bengali daily besides a photographer were beaten up allegedly by CPI(M) supporters after they spoke to the presiding officer Sourav Banerjee at Dayalpur in Galsi assembly constituency in Burdwan district, an FIR lodged by them said.
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