West Bengal polls: 40% turnout in first four hours
Election Commission officials said the polling percentage was 38.65 in Bankura, West Midnapore and Burdwan districts till 11 AM as people lined up outside polling booths since early morning to exercise their franchise.
While West Midnapore recorded 48 percent turnout, Bankura witnessed 32.5 percent and Burdwan 35.4 percent, the officials said. A large number of people had queued up in front of the booths at 7 AM to beat the sweltering heat with day temperatures soaring above 40 degrees Celsius.
Five-time CPI(M) MLA from Narayangarh and Leader of Opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra was among the early voters. While seven EVMs were found to be malfunctioning in Barjora seat, two in Bankura seat and three at Chatna before polling began in Bankura district, they were replaced quickly.
One EVM developed problem during voting at Chatna which was also replaced. Polling was disrupted for some time at a booth under Pandaveswar Assembly seat in Burdwan district when the third polling officer Parimal Bauri died of heart attack.
Voting resumed after another person took charge of his duty. Sporadic incidents of violence were reported from polling booths under Jamuria Assembly constituency in Burdwan. Two bags containing bombs were found near booth number 35 in Jamuria by the police.
In the same constituency, a CPI(M) agent was injured after he was allegedly beaten up by Trinamool Congress workers and obstructed from entering a polling booth.
Repoll in two booths of Bankura and West Midnapore districts, where polling was held in the first part of the first phase poll on April 4, is also being held today.
Around 70 lakh people are eligible to cast their votes today. The fate of 163 candidates, including 21 women, will be decided.