Hindusthan Samachar
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About 38 per cent votes polled in Bengal till 12 noon

By HindusthanSamachar | Publish Date: Apr 11 2019 1:25PM
About 38 per cent votes polled in Bengal till 12 noon
Kolkata, Apr 11 (HS): Overcoming some threats in a few booths, about 38 per cent voters in both Coochbehar and Alipurduar constituencies in North Bengal cast their ballots till 12 noon today, state Additional Chief Electoral Officer Sanjay Basu informed here this afternoon. Stating that though the Election Commission had so far received a total of 559 complaints from different political parties and individuals since the polling began at 07-00 a.m. in both the constituencies,the Commission found '' no major abnormality anywhere'' and had taken necessary steps to prevent any alleged misdeeds. Quoting reports from both the constituencies, Basu said while 37.85 per cent votes were polled in Coochbehar constituency during the first five hours, as many as 38.4 per cent voters in Alipurduar Lok Sabha constituency exercised their franchise during the same period. The total number of electorate in both the constituencies, having a number of tea gardens and tribal areas, was around, six million, the Additonal CEO said. He said long queues of voters, including many women, were seen since this morning in front of almost each of the 3844 polling booths in both the constituencies. Barring a few incidents in which none was injured, polling was by and large free, fair and peaceful, though it was stalled for sometime in some areas before they were resumed soon following the intervention of EC officials and Security personnel. Elaborating the rationale behind the deployment of Central Security forces not in every booth in both the districts, Basu said since only about 87 companies of Central Para military forces were made available by the EC following the suggestion of Special Police Observer Vivek Dube, only about 60 per cent booths could be manned by them following their identification as ''Sensitive or Super Sensitive'' by the Commission. The rest were being manned by the state police despite protests from the opposition parties, he said. About the mal functioning of several EVMs in some booths and the demand for their repoll by Trinamool Congress Coochbehar District President Rabindranath Ghosh, he said the issue was being looked into. About similar demand by BJP candidate in Coochbehar Nisith Pramanik and his allegation of no immediate step by the Commission, the Additional CEO refused to mane any comment. Meanwhile, reports of booth jamming is pouring in from several polling stations at Dinhata in Coochbehar, allegedly by the ruling party workers where long queues were not moving fast enough to enable the voters who had been waiting for their turn to come for several hours, to cast their votes. ''We are looking into such complaints also'', Basu assured. While Coochbehar in witnessing a 17 cornered contest, there are altogether 11 candidates in Alipurduar. Meanwhile, BJP All India President Amit Shah is scheduled to address a public rally at Kalimpong and Chief minister Mamata Banerjee at Darjeeling town, about 15 km away at the same time this afternoon where the poll is scheduled on 18 April. Hindusthan Samachar/Ankur/Shri Ram Shaw\
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