Over 81 percent vote in Bengal, opposition seeks repoll after ‘massive rigging’


Kolkata: Over 81 percent of the 1.39 crore electors Wednesday cast their ballot in nine Lok Sabha constituencies of West Bengal, with the Election Commission calling the exercise “free and fair”. However, the opposition parties alleged massive booth capturing by the ruling Trinamool Congress and sought repoll in a large number of polling stations.

State chief electoral officer Sunil Gupta said around 81.35 percent polling was recorded at the end of the scheduled polling time spread over four districts – Howrah, Hooghly, Birbhum and Burdwan. Birbum constituency saw the highest turnout at 84.24 percent. The polling was lowest (71.87 percent) at Howrah.

“The figure may go up by 1-2 percent as there were still queues before the booths,” he said, claiming the voting was “fair, free and peaceful”.

There were no reports of any violence, booth capturing, obstruction to voters or any other unlawful activity disrupting the poll process, he said.

Two polling officials were removed – one for illegally allowing a person to enter the voting compartment and cast the vote of another person at Arambagh in Hooghly district and another for the slow pace of voting in Mangalkote of Burdwan district, he said.


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