Kolkata: Polling came to an end in 75 constituencies spread over Kolkata and two adjacent districts in the third phase of the West Bengal assembly elections on Wednesday. The polling saw an impressive 78.3 per cent turnout in 3rd phase of West Bengal assembly poll, says Election Commission.
"However, the number was likely to increase as people are in the queue at several booths, the official said.
He said there were no reports of any major untoward incident from anywhere. Over 60,000 personnel of central security forces were deployed in the three districts to ensure peaceful polling.
The total electorate in the 75 seats is 1.44 crore. Complaints of malfunctioning of EVMs were reported from some places and the voting machines were promptly replaced, the CEO said.
Additional CEO N K Sahana said 17 presiding officers were replaced following complaints of flouting of EC rules. Of them, 16 were from Bagda, Bongaon, Gaighata and Bidhannagar in North 24-Parganas district and one from Kolkata.
Prominent candidates in the fray include Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta, Leader of the Opposition Partha Chaterjee, Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee and former FICCI secretary general Amit Mitra.
Reports from North 24 Parganas, quoting the police, said the CPM office at Bijpur was ransacked by supporters of a rival political party. Police said a CPM polling agent was injured in an attack outside a booth at Bijpur.
A powerful bomb was recovered from a garden near a booth in Barasat in North 24 Parganas. It was defused by the police. One person was arrested from Panihati for false voting and another from Jagaddal for causing disturbance, the reports said.
Police said two elderly women died of sunstroke when they went to cast their vote at Kultali and Canning in South 24-Parganas district.
A total of 14,419,669 people in Kolkata and the neighbouring districts of North and South 24-Parganas were eligible to elect their representatives from among 479 contestants -- many of them stars in the field of politics -- including Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.
Kolkata has 11 constituencies, North 24-Parganas has 33 while South 24-Parganas has 31 seats.