Nearly 81 percent turnout in West Bengal first phase polls

Kolkata: The first phase of polling in West West saw nearly 81 percent of the 40 lakh voters exercising their franchise in three Maoist-affected districts on Monday. 

An Election Commission official said in Delhi that polling was "by and large peaceful" and "there was no incident of violence, any injury or death to any person, which is a creditable achievement," the official said.

Till 6.30 p.m., the overall polling percentage was 80.92.

While 81.66 percent voters cast their ballot in West Midnapore district, the figure was 80.59 percent in Bankura, and 80.18 in Purulia, state Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Gupta said in Kolkata.

The scheduled time of polling was reduced by two hours in six insurgency-hit constituencies of West Midnapore, four in Purulia and three in Bankura districts. The elections got over at 4 p.m. in these constituencies.

In five other constituencies of Purulia, polling ended at 6 p.m.

For the first phase of the elections, there were 40,09,171 registered voters eligible to cast their vote at 4,945 polling stations. Of these, 1,962 were classified as critical.

Multi-layered security was put in place around the constituencies to ensure hassle free polling. At least 10 central paramilitary force personnel were deployed in the LWE-affected constituencies.

Besides two helicopters were carrying out sorties, and an air ambulance and quick response teams were on standby.

(With agency inputs)

News24 Bureau