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84.8 pc turnout in last phase of Bengal polls


Updated: May 10, 2011, 7:35 AM IST
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84.8 pc turnout in last phase of Bengal polls
Security has been beefed up for the polls in 14 constituencies in the Naxal-hit areas.

Kolkata: Polling for the sixth and final phase of the West Bengal Assembly elections ended peacefully on Tuesday with 83.48 per cent voter turnout in 14 Maoist-hit constituencies spread over three districts.

The fate of CPM's Susanta Ghosh, the state minister from Garbeta who had made derogatory remarks at Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, Law Minister Rabilal Moitra from Gopiballavpur and jailed PCPA leader Chhatradhar Mahato, who contested as an independent from the Jhargram seat, were sealed in EVMs.

While the overall percentage was 84.8 per cent, West Midnapore district recorded 85.31 per cent, Purulia 76.80 per cent and Bankura 84.50 per cent, Election Commission sources said, adding polling was largely peaceful.

Since polling was held in Maoist-hit areas, polling ended two hours earlier at 3 pm on Tuesday. Security was tight with helicopters keeping aerial surveillance and 614 companies of Central forces, besides the 41 permanently posted in the three districts.

West Bengal Police issued identity badges to Central and state forces as a measure against Maoists creating trouble masquerading as security forces, officials said.

In all the 14 constituencies, armed policemen patrolled on foot, motorcycles and vehicles besides keeping watch from rooftops and in polling booths. Two surrendered Maoists Sobha Mandi and Bibhuti Karak voted at Salboni and Belpahari, sources said.

The sound of an explosion in the forests at Keria in Nayagram, adjoining Orissa was clarified to be that of dynamite for construction of a canal going on in the neighbouring state, Additional Superintendent of Police (Jhargram), Mukhesh Kumar said.

There was 83.75 per cent polling in 54 seats in the first phase on April 18-- 85.32 per cent in 56 seats in the second phase on April 23-- 78.3 per cent in 75 seats in the third phase on April 27-- 84.8 per cent in 63 seats in the fourth phase on May 3 and 83 per cent in 38 seats in the fifth phase on May 7.

First Published: May 10, 2011, 7:35 AM IST
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