Around 20 per cent turnout in first couple of hrs in West Bengal


Sporadic incidents of violence occurred as around 20 per cent electorate cast their vote in the initial hours during polling in 31 Assembly seats in West Bengal on Monday.

The turnout in seats spread over three districts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Burdwan districts in the second part of the first phase was was 19.95 per cent till 9 AM, election officials said.

Voting began at 7 AM with a large number of people turning up to avoid the scorching sun as day time temperatures are crossing 40 degree Celsius.

Five-time CPI-M MLA from Narayangarh and Leader of Opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra was among the early voters.

Two bags containing bombs were found near booth number 35 in Jamuria by the police.

In the same constituency, a CPI(M) agent was injured after he was allegedly beaten up by Trinamool Congress workers and obstructed from entering a polling booth.

Around 70 lakh people are eligible to cast their votes on Monday. The fate of 163 candidates, including 21 women, will be decided.

Re-poll in two booths of Bankura and West Midnapore districts, where polling was held in the first part of the first phase poll on April 4, is also being held on Monday.

Five more phases of polling will be held in the state till May 5.

Besides TMC and the Left-Congress alliance, the BJP, which has only one MLA in the outgoing Assembly, has also fielded candidates from all the seats in the hope of making it a triangular fight.

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