Kolkata: Just two hours after voters queued up at polling stations to exercise their franchise in the two parliamentary constituencies of Alipurduar and Cooch Behar in West Bengal on Thursday, the Election Commission received 462 complaints of various nature here.
Speaking to News18, Additional Chief Electoral Officer, Sanjay Basu, said, “Yes, we have received 462 complaints so far. We resolved issues in nearly 436 booths in Alipurduar and Cooch Behar. Rest of the issues will be addressed soon.”
He added that the nature of complaints was wide ranging. “Allegations of clashes, EVM malfunctioning, lack of basic amenities and deployment of forces were some of the major concerns.” However, he assured that the overall situation was under control. “Polling is underway peacefully,” he said.
BJP candidate from Alipurduar, John Balra, alleged that TMC workers prevented their voters from casting votes at several places, while TMC’s Rabindranath Ghosh complained that his supporters were harassed by BSF personnel and central forces.
BJP is expecting good results in North Bengal after the saffron brigade did well in the Panchayat polls. Realising its importance, the party president Amit Shah – who already set a target of 23 seats - will address a public meeting in Kalimpong later on Thursday.
In West Bengal, Lok Sabha polls are going to be held in seven phases. A total of 6, 97, 60,868 crore electorate will cast their votes in 78,799 polling booths across the state.
In the first phase, Out of 3,844 polling booths in Cooch Behar and Alipurduar - 533 (including 279 in Cooch Behar and 254 in Aipurduar) will be covered by webcasting. There are 2,010 polling stations in Cooch Behar (SC) and 1,834 booths in Alipurduar (ST) constituency.
Nearly 440 micro observers in Alipurduar and 350 in Cooch Behar were deployed.