Bengal records 84.63pc polling in phase-1 of assembly elections

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(Eds: With updated figure) Kolkata, Mar 28 (PTI) West Bengal Chief Electoral Officer Aariz Aftab on Sunday said that 84.63 per cent of 73.80 lakh voters in 30 constituencies exercised their franchise during the first phase of polling on March 27.

After voting concluded at 6.30 pm on Saturday, the CEO's office had said that 79.79 per cent turnout was recorded till 5 pm.

'The poll percentage figure till 6.30 pm is 84.63 per cent,' Aftab said.

Polling was 'mostly peaceful', barring a few sporadic incidents of violence, an EC official said on Sunday.

Of the 30 seats that went to the polls on Saturday, nine were in Purulia, four each in Bankura and Jhargram, six in Paschim Medinipur, and seven in Purba Medinipur district.

The highest voter turnout of 87.17 per cent was recorded in Paschim Medinipur district, followed by Purba Medinipur (86.32 per cent), Jhargram (84.73 per cent), Bankura (84.27 per cent) and Purulia (81.77 per cent), Aftab said.

Voting had begun at 7 am and concluded at 6.30 pm, with the timing extended by an hour and a half to ensure that COVID protocols are followed.

Polling was held in 30 seats -- several of them part of the once-Naxal-hit Jangalmahal region -- amid tight security and strict adherence to COVID-19 guidelines, he said.

At least 10 people were arrested for allegedly being involved in incidents of violence that occurred in various places during the first phase of polling.

In the West Bengal assembly polls, the BJP is trying to dethrone the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress which seeks to return to power for the third consecutive term. PTI SCH BDC NN NN