West Bengal Election 2021: With 75.06% turnout, phase 7 draws to close; polling 'largely peaceful', says EC

Murshidabad district saw the highest turnout at 80.37%, followed by Dakshin Dinajpur (80.25%), Malda (78.76%) and Kolkata South (60.03%). Except for some stray incidents of violence, the elections were largely peaceful

FP Staff April 26, 2021 17:47:04 IST
West Bengal Election 2021: With 75.06% turnout, phase 7 draws to close; polling 'largely peaceful', says EC

Electors keep Social Distancing at Polling Station No.131 under 160 Rashbehari Assembly Constituency of South Kolkata Election District on Monday. Twitter/@CEOWestBengal

West Bengal recorded 75.06 percent voter turnout in the seventh phase of polling held on Monday amid strict coronavirus protocols.

Murshidabad district saw the highest turnout at 80.37%, followed by Dakshin Dinajpur (80.25%), Malda (78.76%) and Kolkata South (60.03%), as per the EC's voter turnout app.

Stray incidents of violence were reported Monday from some areas where voting is underway for the seventh phase of the Assembly elections in West Bengal, though the overall polling process has been peaceful as per officials.

Long queues were seen outside most polling booths where voting is underway, adhering to coronavirus protocols.

Agnimitra Paul, BJP candidate from Asansol Dakshin constituency, alleged that a Trinamool Congress polling agent in Baktarnagar High School was wearing a cap with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's photo on it.

Paul said she will be taking up the matter with the Election Commission.

Voting is being held at 12,068 polling stations spread over nine Assembly constituencies each in Murshidabad and Paschim Bardhaman districts, six each in Dakshin Dinajpur and Malda, and four in Kolkata, including Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's home turf Bhabanipur.

Stray incidents of violence reported

A few incidents of violence were reported from the Asansol area, where TMC candidate Sayoni Ghosh claimed that BJP activists tried to jam booths in her constituency.

The allegation was dubbed as baseless by BJP candidate Agnimitra Paul, who asserted, "Ghosh is making excuses sensing defeat".

A BJP polling agent Sankar Sakar alleged that he was pushed out of Booth 91 by TMC members and was made to leave the spot in Bakhra village of Ratua, Malda.

A TMC member told ANI, "He is not a voter here so we asked him to leave respectfully. Nobody threatened him."

Meanwhile, there was a commotion in Rash Behari constituency after BJP candidate Lt Gen (retd) Subrata Saha's agent was accused of molesting women voters inside a polling booth, police said. Mohan Rao was detained after several women voters claimed he tried to drag them holding their hands inside Bidya Bharati School, a police officer said.

Rao, however, rubbished the allegations and said no such incident had taken place. "We have received a complaint in this regard and a probe is underway," the officer said.

In the Jamuria constituency, Left Front candidate Aishe Ghosh alleged that her party agents were stopped from entering the booth by TMC workers, a charge denied by the ruling party.

EC transfers poll officials

The Election Commission transferred a few police officers as West Bengal voted in the seventh phase of Assembly polls on Monday, officials said.

Shantanu Sinha Biswas, an inspector at the Directorate of Economic Offences, was transferred to the office of the DIG Jalpaiguri Range as a crime inspector, they said.

Sinha was accused by the BJP of manipulating postal ballots. Srimanta Kumar Bandopadhyay, the Assistant Commissioner of Asansol-Durgapur Police, was named the new Sub-divisional Police Officer of Bolpur, as per an order issued on Sunday night.

Shubhendra Kumar, the present SDPO of Bolpur, was diagnosed with COVID-19.

Nihar Ranjan Roy, the circle inspector of Krishnaganj in Krishnanagar police district, was made the new inspector in charge of the Murshidabad police station, replacing Atish Das, the order said.

Das was moved to the Police Directorate, it added. The Election Commission has been making a slew of transfers as the state voted.

With inputs from PTI

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