Kolkata: An estimated 32.06 per cent of over 1.49 crore electorate exercised Sunday their franchise till 11.00am in nine Lok Sabha seats of West Bengal, amid reports of EVM glitches and stray incidents of violence. 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 Kolkata (North) 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.
TMC candidate Mala Roy from the Kolkata (South) constituency 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 while Kolkata (South) the lowest 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 this agency.
“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 problems,” the official added.