West Bengal Elections : Around 80 percent voting recorded in 3rd phase

west bengal elections 2016
A first-time voter clicking a selfie at a polling booth in West Bengal during 3rd phase polls

Voting for third phase West Bengal Assembly elections held on 21 April for total 62 constituencies. The total voting percentage recorded in 3rd phase is 79.22 amid violence. The third phase polls witnessed violence in few polling booths, unlike first two polls. According to the Election Commission, the turn out could be even more because the figures were based on the text messages which were sent by the polling officials from the field till 5pm.

Despite the deployment of one lakh security personnel, on CPI(M) worker died and a number of them were injured. Around 10 people were injured in the sporadic violence that took place. Violence started since from the beginning of voting, the CPI(M) worker was killed in Domkol, Murshidabad, but violence was also reported from other regions like that of Ketugram, Galsi, Jalangi, Mangalkot. The same happened in some of the areas of Kolkata as well. Places like Beleghata, Jorasanko also reported violence. In most of the cases there, the allegations were leveled against the ruling party TMC, however the party denied that.

The third phase of polling was very crucial for the political parties. Third phase polling was held in 62 constituencies in four districts of West Bengal. Voters exercised their franchise in all the 22 constituencies in Murshidabad, 17 in Nadia, and 7 in Kolkata and 16 in rural Bardhaman. As there were 418 candidates, including 34 female candidates, they were in a fray for 62 seats spread in the different constituencies.

Over 1.37 crore voters, which includes 65.8 lakh females, are registered in the electoral role at these constituencies. Among the 418 candidates, 61 are crorepatis, 80 have criminal cases against them, and 65 of them have serious cases of rape and murder registered against them.

There are some of the important candidates in this phase, Trinamool Ministers – Shashi Panja, Sadhan Pandey and Subrata Saha. Congress leader Somendranath Mitra and Mohammad Sohrab, party leader in the Assembly, are contesting. For the BJP, former State president Rahul Sinha is in the fray in Kolkata.

The Congress- Left alliance is expected to dominate heavily in 22 seats of Murshidabad. Tough contest is expected in Nadia and Kolkata, where both TMC and the alliance are competitive. TMC though has a distinct edge in Burdwan. All together alliance is expecting garner majority out of these 62 seats. BJP is also expected to pick up 2-3 seats in this phase.

By 9 am, the polling percentage was 20.53 in Murshidabad, 18.09 in Nadia, 14.71 in Kolkata, 17.01 in Burdwan, overall it was 18.29. By 3 pm, the polling percentage was 58.06 in Murshidabad, 60.07 in Nadia, 44.14 in Kolkata, 58.74 in Burdwan and overall it was 57.21. By 7.30 pm, the polling percentage was 79.22.

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