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Lok Sabha election 2019: 76.44% turnout in West Bengal despite incidents of violence; Congress worker stabbed in Odisha

A polling percentage of around 66 percent was reported till 5 pm in Odisha, where the fourth and final phase of Lok Sabha election was held on Monday. Six constituencies - Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur - voted in the state.

In West Bengal, eight Lok Sabha constituencies saw a voter turnout of 76.44 percent. The constituencies that went to poll are Baharampur, Krishnanagar, Ranaghat (SC), Burdwan East (SC), Burdwan-Durgapur, Asansol, Bolpur (SC) and Birbhum.

Bhadrak recorded the highest voter turnout at 68 per cent till 5 pm, followed by Mayurbhanj at 66 per cent, both Jajpur and Kendrapara at 65 per cent and Jagatsinghpur and Balasore at 64 per cent.

 Lok Sabha election 2019: 76.44% turnout in West Bengal despite incidents of violence; Congress worker stabbed in Odisha

Representational image. PTI

According to a senior police officer, unprecedented violence was reported from several places of the six parliamentary seats. A Congress worker was stabbed to death in Balikuda-Erasama Assembly segment of Jagatsinghpur Lok Sabha seat, while he was returning from a polling booth having cast his vote. Three polling personnel in Jajpur were suspended for violation of norms in Odisha.

The deceased, Lachman Behera, had recently quit the BJD to join the Congress. "Behera was attacked with a broken bottle by unknown miscreants. He died on his way to hospital," Additional Superintendent of Police BP Mishra said, adding that an investigation is being carried out into the incident.

Clashes between the supporters of the ruling BJD and the BJP were reported from Jajpur Kendrapara and Balasore.

Altogether 52 contestants, including 12 women, contested from the six Lok Sabha seats. Prominent among those in the fray are BJP national vice-president Baijayant Panda and Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Niranjan Patnaik.

An FIR was lodged against Babul Supriyo, Union minister and BJP candidate for Asansol, following a directive by the Election Commission over entering a polling station at Barabani. According to reports, Supriyo had an argument with polling officials inside a polling station in Asansol following which TMC workers attacked his vehicle parked outside. Though the rear windshield of his vehicle was smashed the singer-politician was unharmed.

The state's Chief Electoral Officer Ariz Aftab, however, claimed that barring "sporadic incidents", the polling was, by and large, "peaceful".

State's Additional Director General of police (Law and order) Siddhi Nath Gupta said, six FIRs were lodged during the day over incidents of violence and 145 people arrested. Gupta said five people were injured in clashes between workers of rival political parties. All of them were undergoing treatment.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleged central forces opened fire inside a polling booth in Birbhum.
She claimed the BJP had "misused" the central forces to rig the elections. The EC show-caused the Birbhum BJP candidate Dudh Kumar Mondal after he was seen talking over a mobile phone inside a polling booth just before casting his vote.

There were clashes between supporters of rival TMC and BJP at Nanoor, Rampurhat, Nalhati and Suri areas of Birbhum constituency in which several people were injured. In Dubrajpur area of the constituency, security personnel fired in the air to control a mob which allegedly scuffled with personnel of the central forces when they were barred from entering the booths with mobile phones. Following this, polling was stalled in these booths, the official said.

At Hanskhali in Ranaghat constituency, a woman voter was critically injured in a bomb explosion outside a polling station during a clash between workers of rival parties, Nadia district election officer Sumit Gupta said. Accusing the TMC of rigging the polls in almost every booth, BJP's Krishnanagar candidate Kalyan Chaubey said voters in several areas were not allowed to cast their ballots.

- With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Apr 29, 2019 23:11:18 IST