Nearly 80% Polling in Bengal, 72% in Assam in Phase-1 of Voting
At least 21 women aspirants are contesting elections in West Bengal while the number is 23 in Assam.
According to Election Commission sources, about 80.03 percent of the electorate voted in West Bengal’s Bankura, 80.55 percent in Jhargram, 80.16 percent in West Midnapore and 82.42 percent in East Midnapore districts.
Jhargram, Midnapore, Patashpur and Ramnagar were among the key segments where voting took place in the first phase. Polling was largely peaceful, though some stray incidents of violence were reported from some areas.
Meanwhile, a BJP delegation met EC officials while protesting against an attack on BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari's brother Soumendu Adhikari. Soumendu alleged that he was attacked when he attempted to stop Trinamool Congress supporters, who were allegedly driving away the voters.
"This is the most peaceful phase of elections I have seen in Bengal in the last four decades. Yes, there have been a few sporadic incidents, but those were due to some anti-social elements. If that section of anti-social elements is arrested, there will be no more problem for the voters in other phases of polling," BJP National General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said, as he congratulated the poll panel for conducting free and peaceful voting in the first phase.
Delegations of TMC & BJP Meet EC
Earlier, a 10-member Trinamool parliamentary delegation led by Sudip Bandyopadhyay, met EC in Kolkata on Saturday, opposing the change in the system of appointing booth agents.
The BJP delegation led by Kailash Vijayvargiya, too, wrote a letter to the Chief Electoral Officer in Kolkata on Saturday, alleging there had been several instances of violent behaviour by “TMC goons”.
Earlier in the day, BJP West Bengal President Dilip Ghosh, while responding to TMC’s allegations on rigging of polls, had said that the latter was ‘under pressure’.
“TMC knows that it is losing and that’s why it is saying all this. For such complaints, TMC should go to the Election Commission. TMC and Mamata Banerjee are under pressure and that is why they are saying such things,” said Ghosh.
Assam Polling Stats
EC data revealed that there was 77.16 percent voting in Assam’s Biswanath, 71.1 percent in Bokakhat, 73.29 percent in Charaldeo, 72.85 percent in Dhakuakhana, 70.76 percent in Dhansiri, among other districts till 5 pm.
In Assam, voting began across 11,537 polling stations mostly covering eastern Assam’s 12 districts at 7 am on Saturday. A total of 8,109,815 voters, including 4,032,481 women, were eligible to cast their ballots.
COVID-19 protocols for the voters, including social distancing and thermal screening, were maintained. Election officials said that to avoid crowding, the number of voters for every booth had been brought down to a maximum of 1,000.
As a result, the number of polling booths has been augmented by 34.71 percent to 33,530 from 24,890 in 2016.
According to election officials, over 30,000 Central Armed Police Force personnel along with thousands of state security personnel were deployed to maintain law and order during this phase of polling.
(With inputs from IANS)
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