West Bengal Lok Sabha Election voting Latest updates: The seventh and final phase of the Lok Sabha election in West Bengal is half-way concluded in the nine seats that went to polls on Sunday. The voter turnout is the highest among all the states that are voting.
Reports said that the decisive votes in the West Bengal election will likely be the urban middle class and the Muslim community. The BJP is optimistic about having made inroads into the vote share ofthe "upwardly mobile families", however, the nine seats also include those that are Muslim-dominated, which will also decide the fate of the 111 candidates in the fray for these seats.
"In Kolkata Dakshin and Kolkata Uttar, BJP polled 25 percent votes and came in second in 2014. Five years later, the BJP continues to grow, with a large section of the educated middle class being polarised. It remains to be seen how the events of the last few days, especially the violence leading to the violence leading to the vandalising of Ishwar Chandra Vidhyasagar's statue, play out in the vote," a report by The Times of India said.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addressed the media over the incidents of poll violence in West Bengal and alleged that the Trinamool Congress was responsible for the vandalism and intimidation that has taken place on Sunday. She said that the saffron party has two concerns, which is that voters are being intimidated and not allowed to cast their votes.
To tackle this, the Union Minister demanded an order for the 100 percent deployment of Central security forces in the state till the Model Code of Conduct is in force, till the results are declared on 23 May.
CNN-News18 reported several cases of misconduct by allegedly TMC workers, which is in Kolkata Dakhin's Mudiali area, the BJP alleged booth capturing whereas in Jadavpur the saffron party alleged proxy voting.
The voter turnout at 1 pm is 34.33 percent, which is the highest recorded among all the states that have gone to polls in the seventh phase of the election on Sunday. The turnout comes amid reports of scattered incidents of violence and intimidation, with BJP and CPM leaders and candidates blaming the TMC for wrong poll practices.
A crude bomb explosion took place in the Kolkata Uttar constituency in the Girish Park area, CNN-News18 reported. This is the first incident of a bomb-related incident in Kolkata, whereas at least two incidents of crude-bombs were reported in the Barasat and Basirhat constituencies in the morning.
Extra personnel of central security forces have been deployed in the city, the report said. The BJP blamed the TMC for the incidents of violence.
The BJP candidate from Jadavpur, Anupam Hazra, at a polling booth number in the constituency said that female TMC workers "with covered faces" were casting "proxy" votes. "it is difficult to establish their identity. When we raised an objection to it, they created a ruckus at the polling station," he said.
The BJP candidate from Jadavpur, Anupam Hazra, after his car was attacked near 24 South Parganas district said that the TMC "goons" had beaten up a BJP mandal president, driver, and then attacked the car.
"We also rescued our three polling agents.TMC goons were going to carry out rigging at 52 booths. People are eager to vote for BJP but they are not allowing people to vote," he said.
West Bengal is likely to have voted in the ongoing Lok Sabha election based largely on religious polarisation for the first time since 1952, a report said. It is expected that the pattern will continue as the state steps out to vote in the seventh and final phase on Sunday.
"The alleged discontent with the state’s chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s appeasement policies with the minorities especially the Muslims, is believed to have played a part," a report by Business Standard said.
Voters held a protest outside polling station number 189 in the Basirhat Lok Sabha constituency on Sunday. They alleged that TMC workers were not allowing them to cast their vote. BJP MP candidate from Basirhat, Sayantan Basu said, "100 people were stopped from voting. We will take them to cast their vote."
A bomb-related incident was reported in the Basirhat Lok Sabha constituency on the final phase of the Lok Sabha election on Sunday. The incident was reportedly outside Deganga's booth no 66/67. Allegations are that some unidentified men on a bike hurled minor bombs. As soon as the security forces rushed to the scene, they left the bike and fled.
The voter turnout in West Bengal till 10 am is 14.33 percent, which is inspite of EVM glitches being reported in multiple constituencies.
Voters and BJP workers have alleged that people are not being allowed to cast their votes at the Bhangar polling booth under the Jadavpur Lok Sabha constituency. Voters also claim that the TMC is not allowing people to cast votes. Voters claimed that TMC leader Arabul Islam did not allow them to vote.
The BJP's candidate for the Kolkata Dakshin constituency and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's nephew, CK Bose slammed Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for the violence in the state over the election season so far. He also said that the TMC chief engages in "jihadi politics".
"Mamata Banerjee's politics is only jihadi politics today. She only employs criminals in her party, the Trinamool Congress is a congregation of opportunists who have come together to loot the state of West Bengalm" Bose said.
An EVM was replaced by polling officials after a malfunction was reported in the Panihati area of the Dum Dum constituency.
Abhishek Banerjee, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's nephew, criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his "bua-bhatija" remark in the election rally on 15 May. Banerjee, who has just cast his vote, sent a defamation notice to the prime minister over the same on Saturday.
Outside the polling booth, as the final phase of the Lok Sabha election, Abhishek said, "Whatever he (PM) said in the (public) meeting on 15 May in Diamond Harbour, he has to substantiate those statements with ample proof and justify what he said. If he fails to do so, I'll sue him in the criminal and defamation cases. I'll drag him to the court and do the needful."
The prime minister had said that the days of the "bua-bhatija" government in the state are numbered, a charge he has often made referring to Mamata and Abhishek.
The BJP's candidate for Kolkata North, Rahul Sinha cast his vote at a polling booth in a school in Jadavpur on Sunday, for the seventh and final phase of the Lok Sabha election.
Voting has been delayed in the Kolkata Dakshin constituency, as polling got underway for the final phase of the Lok Sabha election. An EVM glitch was reported in a booth in the City college polling station.
The Kolkata Dakshin Lok Sabha constituency will witness Mala Roy of the TMC battling it out against BJP's Chandra Kumar Bose. The CPM has nominated Nandini Mukherjee and the Congress Mita Chakraborty.
All seats, barring Jadavpur, are set to see a four-cornered fight between the Trinamool Congress, the BJP, the Congress and the Left Front. Congress has decided not to field a candidate in the Jadavpur constituency.
An electorate of 1,49,63,064 will vote in the nine constituencies on Sunday, which will decide the fate of 111 candidates.
Preparations are in place for the seventh and final phase of the general elections in West Bengal, where nine Lok Sabha constituencies will go to polls on Sunday.
An electorate of 1,49,63,064 will decide the fate of 111 candidates in these nine seats, Kolkata North and Kolkata South, Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Jadavpur, Diamond Harbour, Jaynagar (SC) and Mathurapur (SC). Eight seats, barring Jadavpur, will witness a four-cornered contest between the Trinamool Congress, the BJP, the Congress and the Left Front.
The Congress has given the Jadavpur seat a miss. The prime minister held four poll meetings on the last two days of the campaign, while Banerjee took part in several road shows at different places in the metropolis in the run-up to this phase.
The high-voltage campaign for the final phase saw poll meetings by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Congress
leader Sachin Pilot and West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee.
Representational image. PTI
Shah's roadshow in the city on Tuesday was marred by violence and destruction of social reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar's bust in a college in north Kolkata.
In a first such action in India's electoral history, the Election Commission ordered campaigning in the nine West Bengal constituencies to end at 10 pm on Thursday, instead of 6 pm on Friday, in the wake of the violence between the BJP and the TMC during Shah's roadshow.
Besides general election observers and expenditure observers, the poll panel has for the first time deployed a special police observer and a special observer. VVPAT will be also be used in all the polling booths along with the EVMs, EC officials said.
Sitting MP Abhishek Banerjee, who is the nephew of TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee and considered the number two in the party, is seeking re-election from the Diamond Harbour seat, where he is pitted against BJP's Nilanjan Roy. The CPM has nominated Fuad Halim and the Congress Soumya Aich Roy for the seat.
In the Jadavpur seat, TMC's celebrity candidate Mimi Chakraborty will contest against Anupam Hazra of the BJP. The CPM has fielded senior leader Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya.
Basirhat Lok Sabha seat will see another star TMC candidate Nusrat Jahan locking horns with BJP's Sayantan Basu. The Congress has nominated Quazi Abdur Rahim and the Left Front constituent CPI, Pallab Sengupta.
In the Dum Dum seat, the BJP has fielded Samik Bhattacharya against sitting TMC MP Saugata Ray. Left Front major CPM has nominated Nepaldeb Bhattacharya, while the Congress announced the name of Saurav Saha.
TMC MP Kakoli Ghoshdastidar is contesting against BJP's Mrinal Kanti Debnath in Barasat, where the Congress has nominated Subrata Dutta and Left Front Constituent All India Forward Bloc, Haripada Biswas. In the Jaynagar (SC) seat, TMC's Pratima Mondal will contest against Ashok Kandary of the BJP. The Congress has fielded Tapan Mondal and Left Front constituent RSP, Subhas Naskar.
Choudhury Mohan Jatua is the TMC candidate from the Mathurapur (SC) constituency against BJP's Shyama Prasad Halder. The Congress has named Krittibas Sardar and the CPI(M) fielded Sarat Chandra Haldar for the seat.
Kolkata South will witness Mala Roy of the TMC battling it out against BJP's Chandra Kumar Bose. The CPM has nominated Nandini Mukherjee and the Congress Mita Chakraborty.
In Kolkata North, Sudip Bandyopadhyay will contest against Rahul Sinha, the BJP national secretary. The CPI(M) has fielded Kaninika Bose and the Congress, Syed Shahid Imam. A total of 710 companies of central forces are being deployed by the Election Commission to cover 17,042 polling booths to ensure free and fair voting, officials said.
The nine constituencies are spread across the three districts of Kolkata, South and North 24 Parganas.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: May 19, 2019 17:37:49 IST