Bengal records 73 pc turnout in Phase 5 after largely peaceful polling (3rd Ld)

Kolkata, May 20 (IANS) Polling concluded in the seven Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal that went to the polls in the fifth phase on Monday with a high voter turnout at all the seats.

As per the provisional figures released by the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), 73 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the state till 5 p.m., which was substantially higher than the national average of 47.53 per cent (provisional figures) till that time.

Maximum polling was reported from Arambagh at 76.90 per cent, followed by Bangaon (75.73 per cent), Uluberia (74.50 per cent), Hooghly (74.19 per cent), Serampore (71.18 per cent), and Barrackpore and Horwah (both 68.64 per cent).

Sources in the CEO’s office said there were long queues outside some booths even at 6 p.m., the official closing time for voting. While the final polling percentage will not be known before Tuesday, the sources said the CEO’s office expects the final tally to touch the 80 per cent mark.

The polling process was by and large peaceful on Monday as compared to the previous four phases when complaints of poll-related tension and violence started surfacing from the very first hour.

Although the first six hours of polling were largely peaceful, reports of poll-related tension started coming in after 3 p.m.

Even in the closing hours, there was tension in certain pockets of the Hooghly, Barrackpore, and Howrah Lok Sabha constituencies.

The sources in the CEO’s office attributed the overall peaceful polling to the strict approach of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and the prompt actions initiated by the Election Commission of India on the complaints received throughout the day.



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