Hindusthan Samachar
Banner 2 बुधवार, अप्रैल 24, 2019 | समय 21:51 Hrs(IST) Sonali Sonali Sonali Singh Bisht

About 82 per cent votes polled in Bengal till 6-00 p.m.

By HindusthanSamachar | Publish Date: Apr 11 2019 8:19PM
About 82 per cent votes polled in Bengal till 6-00 p.m.
Kolkata,Apr.11 (HS): About 82 per cent of nearly six millions voters today exercised their franchise in Coochbehar and Alipurduar Lok Sabha constituencies in North Bengal till 6-00 p.m.today despite reports of some incidents of violence and other electoral mal practices in several areas of both the districts. Describing the overall situation in both the constituencies as ''by and large peaceful'' in spite of the demand for re poll in at least ten booths,State Chief Electoral Officer Ariz Aftab informed here this evening that even the Special Police Observer Vivek Dube had expressed satisfaction at the conduct of free and fair elections in West Bengal unlike elsewhere in the country. He said so far the Election Commission received nearly 850 odd complaints from different political parties and individuals since the polling began at 07-00 a.m and following detailed investigation it was found that there was ''no major abnormality anywhere''. Still we have taken all necessary steps to prevent any major untoward incident, he said.Quoting reports from both the constituencies, the CEO said while 81.94 per cent votes had so far been polled in Coochbehar constituency which had witnessed a number of violence incidents, as many as 81.68 per cent voters in Alipurduar Lok Sabha constituency exercised their franchise till now. The total number of electorate in both the constituencies, having a number of tea gardens and tribal areas, was around, six million,the CEO said and hoped that voting percentage would increase further. But when his attention was drawn to a number of violent incidents at Dinhata, Silalkuchi and several other areas of Coochbehar district, bordering Bangladesh, in which mostly the Trinamool Congress workers were found to be involved by preventing voters from coming to the polling booths and threatening them for casting their ballots, the CEO said all such incidents were being investigated and steps had already been taken against two polling officials and a presiding officer in three booths for failing to conduct their duties. ''We are still looking into some other allegations from both BJP and TMC'' ,he said. About the opposition demand for re poll in at least ten booths in Dinhata and Silalkuchi areas, the CEO said the matter had been referred to the Commission for the final decision. Barring a few such incidents of EVM mal functioning and minor violence, the overall situation was peaceful in both the district when the polling in almost all the 3844 booths was free and fair,he claimed.Long queues of voters, including many women, were seen during the morning hours in front of almost each of the 3844 polling booths in both the constituencies, but as the day progressed their number diminished before it surged once again during the late afternoon. Though voting was stalled for sometime in some areas,they were soon resumed following the intervention of EC officials and Security personnel, Aftab said. Elaborating the rationale behind the deployment of Central Security forces not in every booth in both the districts, the CEO said since only about 87 companies of Central Para military forces were made available by the EC, 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. While Cocchbehar in witnessing a 17 cornered contest, there are altogether 11 candidates in Alipurduar. Hindusthan Samachar/Ankur/Pramod \
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