West Bengal Assembly polls, 4th phase: Nearly 42% turnout recorded till 11 am
Kolkata: Under unprecedented security to prevent violence, polling for the 4th phase of West Bengal Assembly polls, which will seal the fate of several TMC ministers, begun this morning.
Across 49 seats in North 24 Parganas, Bidhannagar and Howrah districts, more than 1 crore voters will exercise their franchise in over 12,000 polling stations from 7 am to 6 pm.
11 am: 42.37% voting recorded
— ANI (@ANI_news) April 25, 2016
* Uproar at a polling booth in Salkia (Howrah). Voters allege that TMC agents are forcing them to vote for TMC
9am: Nearly 22 percent turnout was recorded
* Voting at a polling booth in Salt Lake delayed by 30mins due to technical problem in EVMs
As the 4th Phase of the West Bengal polls commences, calling upon those who are voting today to do so in record numbers.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 25, 2016
7am: Polling begins for 49 constituencies in 4th phase of WB Assembly election
Security has been stepped up especially after violence in the third phase of polling which left at least one CPI-M worker dead. Around 90,000 security personnel will guard the booths. 672 companies of Central security forces have been deployed to helping around 22,000 state police personnel. 677 mobile quick response teams in North 24 Parganas and 415 similar teams in Howrah have been activated.
A total of 345 candidates including 40 women are in the fray for this phase. Over 1 crore and 8 lakhs voters will exercise their franchise through about 12,500 polling stations in this phase.
State Finance Minister Amit Mitra is pitted against former incumbent CPI-M’s Ashim Dasgupta in Khardah. Trinamool Ministers Chandrima Bhattacharjee from Dum Dum Uttar, Bratya Basu from Dum Dum, Purnendu Basu from Rajarhat Gopalpur and Saradha scam accused former minister Madan Mitra from Kamarhati are also in the fray in the North 24 Parganas district. Besides them, the lone BJP sitting MLA in the state, Samik Bhattacharjee from Bashirhat Dakshin and former minister Abdus Sattar from Amdanga are also contesting.
In Howrah, BJP’s state Mahila Morcha president and actor Roopa Ganguly is pitted in a three cornered fight against former cricketer Lakshmi Ratan Shukla of TMC and Congress’ sitting Kolkata councilor Santosh Pathak in Howrah Uttar. TMC ministers Arup Roy, Haidar Aziz Safwi, and Rajib Banerjee are also in the fray from the district.
In Bally, Congress supported CPI-M candidate, former minister, Soumendra Bera. He is facing a challenge from TMC’s Baisakhi Dalmia.
In West Bengal, which has 294 constituencies, voting is being held in six phases.