Amid stray incidents of violence, more than 80.43% voters exercised their franchise in the second phase of polling in West Bengal in 30 seats spread across four districts.
Purba Medinipur and Paschim Medinipur recorded 81.23% and 78.02 % polling for nine seats each. The percentage for eight seats of Bankura was 82.92% and 79.65% for the four seats of South 24 Parganas. The percentage of voting was till 5 p.m. and the figures are expected to rise.
While all eyes were on Nandigram, the Keshpur Assembly seat in Paschim Mednipur witnessed violence both before and during the polls.
Uttam Dalui, TMC supporter of village Darba, was attacked with sharp weapons late on Wednesday night under the Keshpur police station and succumbed to injuries early on Thursday. The TMC blamed the BJP for the murder of their supporter.
State Chief Electoral Officer Aariz Aftab said eight persons have been arrested for the crime. Later in the day, the vehicle of BJP candidate Tamnay Ghosh was attacked in Keshpur by locals with sticks, stones and batons. Several vehicles including some in which journalists were travelling were also attacked. A few media persons including a woman journalist suffered injuries.
According to the CEO, a case has been registered and more than 20 persons have been arrested. There were also reports of some violence from the Moyna Assembly segment in Purba Medinipur and Sabang in Paschim Medinipur.
According to the E.C., the body of 52-year-old Uday Shankar Dube was found in his home in Nandigram. The CEO said prima facie the death was due to ‘suicide’. The BJP had described the deceased as a party supporter. “Except a few isolated incidents, elections have been peaceful,” Mr. Aftab said. The CEO said the Election Commission received 1,605 complaints.
While allegations of irregularities and malpractices were made by the Trinamool Congress, the party has not demanded repolling in Nandigram. Senior TMC leader and former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha said despite threats by the BJP, people came out in large numbers including in Nandigram and voted without any fear. State BJP vice-president Joy Prakash Majumdar said voting has been free and fair except isolated incidents of violence.
About 76 lakh electors — 38.98 lakh men and 37.13 lakh women — were enlisted in the 30 Assembly constituencies where 171 candidates are contesting.
With the completion of the first two phases of polling, elections to 60 seats of the 294-Assembly constituencies of the State are over. The third phase is on April 6 where 31 seats in South 24 parganas, Howrah and Hooghly will go to the polls.