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Amid EVM Snags & Sporadic Clashes, Over 1.49 Cr Voters Cast Their Votes Across 9 LS Seats in Bengal

Sporadic clashes were reported in Kolkata and its surrounding areas, with TMC workers claiming that voters were being intimidated by the central forces outside booths.

PTI

Updated:May 19, 2019, 2:32 PM IST
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Amid EVM Snags & Sporadic Clashes, Over 1.49 Cr Voters Cast Their Votes Across 9 LS Seats in Bengal
A police vehicle damaged during violence.
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Kolkata: An estimated 32.06 per cent of over 1.49 crore electorate exercised their franchise till 11 am in nine Lok Sabha seats of West Bengal on Sunday, amid reports of EVM glitches and stray incidents of violence.

Polling is currently underway, amid tight security, in Kolkata North, Kolkata South, Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Jadavpur, Diamond Harbour, Joynagar (SC) and Mathurapur (SC), in the final phase of the staggered general election, he said.

Voting is also on for by-elections to four Assembly constituencies in Bengal, necessitated due to resignations by sitting MLAs who are contesting the parliamentary polls.

According to BJP's North Kolkata candidate Rahul Sinha, a crude bomb was hurled near Girish Park in the constituency around noon, creating panic among voters. Police, however, said crackers were burst in the area, and polling was underway peacefully.

In Kolkata south, TMC candidate Mala Roy alleged that she was stopped from entering polling booths.

Sporadic clashes were reported in Kolkata and its surrounding areas, with TMC workers claiming that voters were being intimidated by the central forces outside booths.

BJP candidate Nilanjan Roy in Diamond Harbour constituency alleged that his car was vandalized in Budge Budge area.

Similar reports also arrived from Jadavpur constituency, where BJP candidate Anupam Hazra's car came under the attack of unidentified men.

Of the nine constituencies, Barasat recorded the highest turnout at 36.94 per cent, followed by Mathurapur (SC) at 34.90 per cent, Diamond Harbour at 34.40 per cent, Dum Dum at 34.10 per cent, Basirhat at 33.90 per cent, Jadavpur at 31.59 per cent, Jaynagar (SC) 29.60 per cent and Kolkata South at 27.69 per cent.

"Polling has by and large been peaceful in the nine seats. There have been no complaints of any violence from any of the polling booths," an election official told PTI.

"There were also reports of EVM glitches in several polling stations. We have sent reserve EVMs to the booths, where the voting process was temporarily hampered due to technical glitches," he added.

An electorate of 1,49,63,064 will decide the fate of 111 candidates in the nine seats.

Altogether 710 companies of Central forces have been deployed at 17,042 polling booths in the state to ensure free and fair voting.

| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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