Polling ended in 56 constituencies in the second phase of the assemly election. Election commision’s intial estimate put polling percentage as 79.70.
Polling was marred by clashes between TMC and other parties. Local media reported that the booth agent of the CPIM and BJP were attacked in Birbum district allegedly by the TMC
Eight people were injured as CPIM and TMC workers clashed out side a polling booth in Birbhum district in West Bengal.
Central forces are deployed in Birbhum and Malda district, were communal and political clashes broke out in recent times.
Sporadic violence were reported in various part of Malda district also. A polling officer was removed after the CPIM alleged he helped TMC impersonation of voters.
In Jalpaiguri CPIM alleged that the TMC did not allow its agents to sit in the booth. TMC dismissed this allegation
TMC Birbhum District president Anubrata Mondal, who is kept under surveillance by the Election Commission casts his vote at Birbhum. But he entered the booth wearing a TMC badge. Election commission has registered two FIR against Anubrata Mondal after this. When he came to cast his vote his refrain was that he is not under surveillance and no authority can put him under surveillance.
In the 2011 assembly polls, then allies Trinamool and the Congress had claimed 18 seats each. while the Left Front could only get 15.
Among the LF partners, the Communist Party of India-Marxist, the Revolutionary Socialist Party and the All India Forward Bloc won six, five and four seats respectively. The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha triumphed in three and and independents in two seats.
The Trinamool is contesting in 55 seats, BJP 53, Congress 23, Left Front 34, GJM three.
A star constituency is Darjeeling district’s Siliguri, where former Indian football captain and Trinamool nominee Baichung Bhutia is pitted against ex state minister and CPI-M heavyweight Asok Bhattacharya.
Eyes will also be on Sujapur in Malda district where two relatives of late Congress stalwart A.B.A. Ghani Khan Choudhury — affectionately called Barkatda — are locking horns.
Choudhury’s younger brother Abu Nasar Khan Choudhury, in the fray as the Trinamool nominee, is contesting against his nephew Isha Khan Choudhury, representing the Congress.
Among other notable candidates are state ministers Gautam Deb (Dabgram-Pulbari), Krishnendu Narayan Choudhury (English Bazar), Sabitri Mitra (Manikchak) — all from Trinamool Congress, and BJP’s actress candidate Locket Chatterjee (Mayureswar).
So far, voters in 49 of the total 294 constituencies have exercised their franchise on two dates — April 4 and 11 — that comprised the first phase.
West Bengal is having a staggered six-phase election. Polling for the remaining phases will be held on April 21, 25, 30 and May 5. (IANS)