Kolkata: The first phase(A) of polling in West Bengal ends peacefully 0n Monday, in 18 out of 294 constituencies. The constituencies which were in the Left wing extremism affected area of Bengal, recorded a polling of 80 per cent. Out of the three districts in which polling has been conducted, West Midnapur has the highest polling of around 81 per cent while the other districts Purulia and Bankura has recorded 80% and 79 % of polling respectively.

People came out of their houses and casted their votes in spite of an election boycott call from the Maoists. The election commission had identified 13 out of 18 constituencies as Left wing extremism affected. Polling in these constituencies ended at 4 pm while it ended at 5 pm in the rest of the areas.

The election commission had received 537 complaints during the polling process out of which 531 were disposed of. “There has been no report of violence while most of the complaints received were about malfunctioning of EVMs, which were redressed at the earliest,” said an election commission official.

The CEO’s office has recommended a repoll in a booth at Ranibandh in the Bankura district, as the presiding officer there was found to be manipulating the EVM. A journalist was beaten up in Salboni in West Midnapur district while performing his duties. EC sought a report on the incident from the SP.CPI(M) Politburo member Mohammed Salim accused that Trinamool tried to use its election machinery and part of administration to deter the poll process.

Voting was held in 4945 polling stations, where a total of 133 candidates contested. Tight security was arranged in the area as 1962 polling stations were classified as critical by the EC. Two choppers were used for aerial surveillance.

The first phase(B) of polling in West Bengal will be conducted on April 11 in another 31 assembly constituencies.