NEW DELHI: Voting for 61 seats in Assam and 31 seats in West Bengal began…
Voting for 61 seats in Assam and 31 seats in West Bengal began on Monday morning, which will seal the fate of 688 candidates for 92 seats.
In Assam, 525 candidates are in the fray for 61 constituencies, the second and final phase of polling. Polling was held for 65 seats on April four.
The ruling Congress, led by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi who is hoping to return for a fourth term, is locked in a keen triangular contest with BJP-AGP-BPF alliance and AIUDF with the issue of infiltration from Bangladesh hitting the spotlight.
— ANI (@ANI_news) 11 April 2016
Congress is contesting in 57 seats, opposition AIUDF in 47, BJP in 35 while its allies–the Bodo Peoples’ Front in 10 and the Asom Gana Parishad in 19. The CPI(M) is contesting in nine seats, the CPI in five, and Independents in 214.
In West Bengal, 163 candidates, including 21 women, are in the fray in the 31 constituencies of West Midnapore, Bankura and Burdwan districts. The Assembly strength is 294. Around 70 lakh people are eligible to cast their votes.
The hustings will witness a triangular contest among the ruling TrinamoolCongress, Left Front-Congress combine, and BJP. All of them have fielded candidates in all the 31 seats.
West Bengal Poll update: Poll percentage till 3pm
Situation continues to remain grim in West Bengal.
Till 4am, Election Commission has recieved over 1400 complaints.
Congress leader Manas Bhattacharya has demanded that EC should take strong steps and ensure outsiders are not able to enter booths.
Opposition leader in the assembly, Surjya Kanta Mishra has alleged that TMC is spreading violence owing to desperation. He says that EC has failed to give protection and it is only the common people who have stood against the terror of TMC.
Earlier Congress State President Adhir Chowdhury said, ” Didi and Modi are trying to control Bengal. By using bombs, bikes, criminals they have made this election a great farce”.
An 80-year-old voter was killed and three others, including two CRPF personnel, were injured in a clash between the central force and voters in Sorbhog contituency in Barpeta district today.
The situation turned disruptive at Safarkamar polling station when CRPF men asked voters to stand in line properly leading to arguments and jostling, district election officials said.
Five Congress workers have been injured in scuffle with TMC workers in Durgapur, West Bengal. In Subhas Pally, there is allegation that opposition agents are not being allowed to seat in the booth.
Poll percentage in West Bengal till 1 PM
West Midnapore – 65.00%
Bankura – 57.60%
In Assam, former PM Manmohan Singh has expressed hopes that voters will again give mandate to the Congress party.
Earlier Tarun Gogoi addressed a press conference which has been deemed as violation of model code of conduct by Election Commission.
Concerned about reports of violence from different constituencies of West Bengal, CEC Zaidi has called up State Election Commissioner Sunil Gupta.
After more or less peaceful election in Assam so far, some troubling news coming from the state.
Some CPI(M) supporters have taken refuge inside Keshpur Police station in West Midnapore district of West Bengal apprehending fresh violence. They are fearing that they may be attacked again if they venture out in the open.
Congress supporters sit on a demonstration outside Election Commission demanding peaceful polling.
Almost five hours after polling to 31 constituencies across three districts began in Bengal, it was marked by widespread cases of violence
In Keshpur,West Bengal three injured in clashes between TMC and CPI(M).
Congress booth offices have been targeted in Durgapur West constituency.
Another person dead in West Bengal while casting his vote. In Bishnupur, Hossain Bayen (55) fell ill while standing in the line. He was rushed to the hospital where he was declared dead.
At least 25 per cent of the 1,04,35,271 electorate exercised their franchise amidst tight security during the first three hours of polling in the second and final phase of Assembly elections in Assam today.
Voters, particularly women and first time voters, stood in queues at the polling booths two hours ahead of the commencement of polling at 7 AM for the remaining 61 seats.
Ruling Congress, the BJP-AGP-BPF alliance and the AIUDF are locked in a keen battle along with other political party contestants and Independents.
There were reports of malfunctioning of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in some polling centres which disrupted voting for some time but the election process continued uninterrupted once they were replaced, election office said.
Former two-time Chief Minister and Asom Gana Parishad leader Prafulla Kumar Mahanta along with his wife former MP Dr Jayashree Mahanta voted in Barhampur and AIUDF president Badruddin Ajmal, who claims he will be the “king-maker” in the formation of the next government, also cast his vote.
No untoward incident has been reported so far from the constituencies where intense security arrangements have been put in place, particularly in Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) where NDFB(S) militants are active and in Goalpara Election district which recently witnessed a bomb blast incident that killed three persons.
A voter, Sashank Bhattacharya, who was standing in a queue died in the scorching heat at Kenda village of Jamuria area in Burdwan district.
Earlier in the day, a polling staff had died due to a cardiac arrest at Pandabeshwar in Burdwan district of Bengal.
One TMC worker has been arrested for attacking CPIM agent in Jamuria.
Stones have been pelted at BJP candidate’s car in Jamuria.
In Kulti, West Bengal, a woman voter was allegedly beaten up inside the polling booth. The polling officer has now been removed by EC.
Congress worker attacked in Sabang, in West Midnapore district of West Bengal. His leg has been broken while he was coming back after casting his vote. TMC workers are allegedly behind this attack too.
In Narayangarh, opposition leader Surjya Kanta Mishra got involved in bitter tussle in several booths where Left were not allowed to keep their voting agent.
In Bankura’s Bishnupur area, Congress candidate Tushar Bhattacharya was allegedly attacked inside the booth premises in presence of Central forces. Bhattacharya had gone to visit the booth to check on his polling agent when he was attacked.
Former Congress state chief Manas Bhunia has alleged that Election Commission and CRPF have totally failed to provide security to the voters.
Reports of violence are now starting to come from large parts of West Midnapore. There was always an apprehension, but few would have expected situation to become violent in the first few hours of voting.
Reports of violence coming from Sonamukhi in Bankura. The allegations are mainly levelled against TMC MLA Deepali Saha.
In one hour, more than 140 complaints have been registered to the Election Commission. It is to be seen if the EC reacts promptly to all allegations of omissions and commissions.
Meanwhile in Assam, AIUDUF chief has cast his vote. On Sunday, in a series of tweets, Ajmal blamed Congress for the division of ‘secular vote’ in the state and said that he has done his best to stich up an alliance.
Left worker attacked. Screengrab courtesy Zee 24 Ghanta
Snapshots of voting from Assam and West Bengal
PM Modi urges voters to cast their vote.
Already news of sporadic violence has started to come from West Bengal. In Jamuria, CPIM agent has been attacked and TMC has been blamed for the incident.
However the ruling party has denied the allegations and have blamed the infighting of Left for the incidence.