WB Polls Phase IV: 78.05% Voter Turnout; 229 People Arrested

Voters lining up in West Bengal. Credit: PTI

Voters lining up in West Bengal. Credit: PTI

Kolkata: An estimated 78.05% voter turnout was recorded in the fourth phase of the West Bengal Assembly election covering 49 constituencies today, in sync with the high polling trend in the previous three rounds.

229 people were arrested in various poll-related incidents.

Overall, 78.05% voter turnout was recorded for 49 seats in the two districts after polling began at 7 am, officials said. Till 5 pm, 79.16% voters exercised their franchise in the North 24-Parganas district while the figure in Howrah was 75.46%.

Polling went on till 6 pm and the final figures will be known only tomorrow.

An FIR was lodged against BJP leader-actress Roopa Ganguly for allegedly pushing and obstructing a woman Trinamool Congress activist and her mother from casting their votes in Howrah district after a heated altercation. TV cameras showed Ganguly pushing the hand of Soma Das outside a poll booth. In her complaint, Das alleged that she was assaulted and told by Ganguly, who is fighting from Howrah North seat, not to cast her vote. Ganguly, who is famous for the the role of ‘Draupadi’ in the popular serial ‘Mahabharat’, denied the allegations, claiming it was the Trinamool workers who pushed her.

Additional Director General of Police (law and order) Anuj Sharma said that during the day 229 arrests were made, out of which 207 were preventive.

A presiding officer in a booth of Baranagar was removed from duty after it was found that web camera was kept in the wrong direction. Another presiding officer was replaced in Minakha for partisan behaviour, while a polling officer in Baranagar was removed on being found that he is a voter of the same constituency. A departmental inquiry has been initiated against all of them, Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Gupta said.

In the Dum Dum North constituency, CPI-M candidate Tanmay Bhattacharya suffered injuries on his hand after stones were hurled at his car. Four persons were arrested and an FIR has been filed against seven persons, Sharma said.

In the Beejpur seat in the North 24-Parganas district, a family of CPI-M supporters alleged that their three-and-half-year-old girl was beaten up last night, following which two were arrested, he said. A person called Titu Samajpati and his minor grand-daughter were beaten up and injured, Sharma said.

Exuding confidence of returning to power after the polls, Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee today claimed that her party had achieved majority after the fourth phase of polls.

“Today the fourth phase of polls are on. After this phase of polls, we have already attained the majority mark, needed to form the new government. After the results are announced, you can check it,” Banerjee said, addressing a poll meeting.