40 per cent votes cast till 11 AM in West Bengal

Sunday, Apr 17, 2016,14:09 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Kolkata | Amid reports of sporadic violence, close to 40 per cent of votes were cast till 11 AM for election to 56 West Bengal Assembly seats in the second phase of polls. Overall, 39.19 per cent voters exercised their franchise during the first four hours in six districts of north Bengal and Birbhum of south Bengal. In Alipurduar, 36.28 per cent votes were recorded, in Jalpaiguri 40.

71 per cent, Darjeeling 36.06, North Dinajpur 38, South Dinajpur 40.08, Malda 38.30 per cent and Birbhum 44.88. Controversial Trinamool Congress leader Anubrata Mandal, already under 24/7 surveillance of the Election Commission, stoked another controversy this time when he went to vote displaying the party symbol on his chest. I didn’t realise it.

But the presiding officer could have stopped me from going like this, Mandal, Birbhum district president of the party, said later on. In Malda, a clash between CPI(M) and TMC supporters took place in front of booth no. 96 in Englishbazar assembly segment in which two persons, including the TMC polling agent were injured, police said.

Trouble began when the TMC polling agent protested against alleged booth jamming by CPI(M). The two sides clashed with lathis outside the booth with the central forces finding it difficult to control them, polling officials said.  TMC agent Anup Sarkar was injured and admitted to Malda Medical College and Hospital.

Polling was stalled for 45 minutes and later began as additional central forces were rushed to the area to control the situation. TMC polling agent Asraful Hossain was beaten up at a booth in Chanchol constituency in Malda district by Chanchol ex-pradhan Maqbul Hossain of Congress, polling officials said.